July 13, 2020 / 5:37 PM / a month ago

U.S. says Ghislaine Maxwell deserves no 'special treatment,' urges detention

FILE PHOTO: Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York speaks alongside William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office, at a news conference announcing charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York City, New York, U.S., July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ghislaine Maxwell should be denied bail while facing charges she lured underage girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, and deserves no “special treatment” because of the risk she might contract COVID-19 in jail, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.

Prosecutors urged Maxwell’s detention one day before her scheduled arraignment on charges she helped Epstein recruit and eventually abuse girls from 1994 to 1997, and lied about her role in depositions in 2016.

“Because there is no set of conditions short of incarceration that can reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance, the government urges the court to detain her,” prosecutors said in a filing in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Lawyers for Maxwell said in a Friday court filing she had always denied having been involved in illegal conduct related to Epstein.

Maxwell was arrested on July 2 in Bradford, New Hampshire, where authorities said she had been hiding out at a 156-acre property she bought last December while shielding her identity.

Her lawyers said she had not been hiding out but was simply escaping the media’s glare. They have sought $5 million bail, and home confinement with electronic monitoring.

Epstein, known for his powerful connections, was awaiting trial on federal charges of trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005 when he was found hanged in a Manhattan jail last August. He was 66.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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