Ghislaine Maxwell, ex-lover of Jeffrey Epstein, has been placed on suicide watch just days before her sentencing hearing on Tuesday. Maxwell, who was convicted of helping Epstein sexually abuse, is considered not suicidal, and may need to postpone her sentencing according to a letter filed on Saturday by her attorney.
“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment,” Attorney Bobby Sternheim wrote in a letter to U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan.
Prosecutors are pushing for a sentence of 30 to 55 years for Maxwell, who is 60, after she was previously found guilty on five of six criminal counts.
“Dear Judge Nathan, I write to inform the Court of a recent development which may require postponement of Tuesday’s sentencing proceeding. Yesterday, without having conducted a psychological evaluation and without justification, the MDC placed Ms. Maxwell on suicide watch,” the attorneys said in the letter.
Her lawyers on Friday asked Nathan to bar four accusers from providing victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, arguing that they were adults when they encountered Maxwell and therefore did not have the right to speak at the proceeding.
Nathan hasn’t ruled on that request. Maxwell has maintained her innocence despite her conviction.
“Ms. Maxwell was abruptly removed from general population and returned to solitary confinement, this time without any clothing, toothpaste, soap, legal papers, etc. She was provided a ‘suicide smock’ and is given a few sheets of toilet paper on request,” they continued in the letter. “This morning, a psychologist evaluated Ms. Maxwell and determined she is not suicidal.”
She was found guilty of five federal charges in December, including: sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy. However, she will only be sentenced on three counts after the judge presiding over her case agreed two of the conspiracy counts she faced were repetitive.
Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in a Manhattan federal detention facility a month later. The facility has since been closed down, possibly temporarily, to address “issues.”
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