Attorney Bobbi Sternheim made the comparison in a court filing on Wednesday in an effort to get Ms Maxwell out on bond ahead of her trial, set to begin at the end of November.
Ms Sternheim wrote that Ms Maxwell is facing various kinds of harassment at the Metropolitan Detention Center, such as sleep deprivation, sexual abuse and constant surveillance.
“The surveillance rivals scenes of Dr Hannibal Lecter’s incarceration as portrayed in the movie, Silence of the Lambs, despite the absence of the cage and plastic face guard,” Ms Sternheim wrote.
“Ms Maxwell is subject to numerous pat searches per day, despite being completely isolated, during which she alleges to have been touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by corrections officers on multiple occasions. She declines recreation time to avoid being searched, which has negatively impacted her physical health,” she added.
Earlier this week, Ms Maxwell was shackled and had to crawl into a van when being taken from the jail to court, The New York Post reported.
“Her leg shackles and arm restraints prevented her from raising her feet to enter the van upright, requiring her to climb into the van on hands and knees,” Ms Sternheim wrote.
Ms Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that she’s not a flight risk, has no criminal record and should be released on bail.
She stands accused of recruiting girls for disgraced financier and convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein to abuse. The crimes Ms Maxwell is accused of allegedly occurred between 1994 and 2004. She has pleaded not guilty.
Jury selection is set to start on Thursday, when prospective jurors, numbering in the hundreds, will fill out questionnaires.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in