Ghislaine Maxwell proposes US$28.5 million bail package, proclaims innocence
Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite facing criminal charges she helped procure girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, on Monday forcefully proclaimed her innocence and proposed a US$28.5 million bail package in a renewed effort to be freed from jail this year.
NEW YORK: Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite facing criminal charges she helped procure girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, on Monday forcefully proclaimed her innocence and proposed a US$28.5 million bail package in a renewed effort to be freed from jail this year.
In a bail application filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Maxwell also disclosed that she has been married since 2016, and that she and her husband would post a US$22.5 million bond, secured by all their assets, toward bail. Most of the remaining bail would come from friends and family.
The filing also said Maxwell "vehemently maintains her innocence" and is not a flight risk, despite media that have "ruthlessly vilified her and prejudged her guilt" in more articles than the comedian Bill Cosby and movie producer Harvey Weinstein got after their arrests.
"Ms. Maxwell wants to stay in New York and have her day in court so that she can clear her name and return to her family," the filing said.
A spokesman for Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment.
Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls as young as 14 to engage in illegal sexual acts in the mid-1990s, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement under oath.
She is scheduled to stand trial from July 2021. The charges carry up to 35 years in prison.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan could rule on Maxwell's bail application this month.
The judge denied bail on July 14, agreeing with prosecutors that Maxwell posed a substantial flight risk, citing her opaque finances and "sophistication" in hiding her wealth and herself.
Authorities arrested Maxwell on July 2 at her New Hampshire home, which prosecutors said she used as a hideout and concealed her identity to buy.
Maxwell has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where she was quarantined last month after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
In Monday's filing, Maxwell proposed living under home confinement with an acquaintance in New York City, with 24-hour security and electronic monitoring.
She also agreed to waive extradition from the United Kingdom and France, where she holds citizenships, in a bid to assuage concern she might flee New York.
The bail application was filed on Dec. 8, and parts of the version made public were blacked out.
Maxwell's lawyers have said this was done to preserve the safety of people she knows, citing online death threats that Maxwell has received.
Prosecutors have until Dec. 16 to respond to Maxwell's bail request.
Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Michael Perry)