The family of Ghislaine Maxwell has called for her to be released from jail while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.
Claiming that his sister has been subjected to “brutal and degrading” treatment while awaiting trial at a detention centre in Brooklyn, Ian Maxwell told The Telegraph he believes his sibling should be freed.
“To anyone familiar with the British system of law, the American system is simply bizarre, quite frankly, cruel. As you know my sister is held in the most appalling conditions and subjected to brutal and unusual treatment and yet she is a pre-trial detainee,” he said, asserting that his sister is “entitled to the presumption of innocence”.
“The sustained brutal, degrading – and wholly unnecessary – conditions of my sister’s solitary imprisonment are a disgrace to any civilized democracy,” he said.
Ms Maxwell, 59, was arrested by the FBI last July and is expected to face trial later this year for offences connected to her association with former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted pedophile who killed himself in a New York jail in 2019.
Ms Maxwell is accused of helping Mr Epstein groom and sexually abuse girls as young as 14 years old between 1994 and 1997.
She has also been charged with perjury over sworn testimony in 2016 in which she said she had not trafficked Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has alleged that she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old. Prince Andrew has denied the allegation.
Mr Maxwell, 64, told the outlet that he believed his sister to be innocent, claiming that “given just a little exploration and digging” the claims against her “can be shown to be false”.
“Ghislaine has been accused of being a procurer and a heartless woman and far more besides. In fact, she is none of these things,” he said, as he urged her release.
Mr Maxwell said his sister was being kept under close watch in a cell measuring 6 feet by 9 feet that “includes a concrete bed and a toilet”.
He said that the situation was causing his sibling distress, asserting that she has lost nearly 20lbs in weight and that “her hair is falling out and she is losing the ability to concentrate which is impairing the time she can devote to studying the two million pages of prosecution documentation”.
According to The Telegraph, Ms Maxwell has remained on 24/7 suicide watch.
Applications for bail, including a $28.5 million surety, and a vow that Ms Maxwell will give up her British and French citizenship, have been rejected.
In the meantime, the Maxwell family has launched a campaign dubbed “Operation Get Ghislaine Out”, which was launched following her arrest last July.