Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyer Makes Hannibal Lecter Comparison Over Disturbing Jail Conditions
Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer has likened her experience in jail to that of Hannibal Lecter’s in The Silence of the Lambs.
The British socialite, a former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, is currently in Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking after being accused of procuring teenage girls for the benefit of Epstein.
Her lawyer, Bobbi C. Sternheim, made the comparisons to the 1991 horror The Silence of the Lambs in a letter to a federal judge, in which she requested for a sixth time that Maxwell be released on bail, following five previous unsuccessful attempts.
Maxwell is said to be treated differently due to her connection with Epstein, according to her lawyers, with Sternheim claiming she has been subject to both physical and emotional abuse by jail guards and that she has been ‘touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by corrections officers on multiple occasions’, Sky News reports.
Sternheim described the prison conditions as ‘reprehensible and utterly inappropriate for a woman on the cusp of turning 60 with no criminal record or history of violence’, and argued that if she is not released on bail ‘it is highly likely that she will not have the stamina to assist in her defence and endure the physical demands of a five-day per week, multi-week court proceedings’.
The socialite is said to be forced to sit alone for hours in her cell where she is subject to ‘disturbing and invasive’ surveillance, including having been poked by a guard when she fell asleep.
The lawyer wrote, ‘The surveillance rivals scenes of Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s incarceration despite the absence of the cage and plastic face guard.’
The lawyer also alleged the US Marshal Service, which oversees court security, is conducting an investigation after a staff member was ‘verbally threatening’ and told Maxwell she is ‘not special’, adding, ‘Remember you are in custody and the judge doesn’t care about you.’
Maxwell is said to be suffering from ‘headaches and back pain and general physical weakness’ behind bars, with her lawyers previously claiming she is subjected to ‘flashlight checks’ in her cell every 15 minutes while she sleeps, and that she has lost hair and 15 pounds in weight.
In response to previous claims about Maxwell’s treatment, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has said, ‘The BOP takes allegations of staff misconduct seriously and consistent with national policy, refers all allegations for investigation, if warranted.’
Opening arguments for Maxwell’s trial are expected to begin on November 29.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays.
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