By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday dismissed Ghislaine Maxwell’s effort to prevent prison officials from shining flashlights in her cell at night, which the British socialite says is hampering her preparation for his November sex crime trial.
US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said the government offered “neutral reasons” to officials at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center to conduct a “flashlight surveillance” of Maxwell every 15 minutes.
Prosecutors had said the exams were appropriate because Maxwell had been housed alone, faced serious charges and could be stressed by the high-profile case.
But the judge urged prison officials to consider reducing sleep disruption for remand inmates like Maxwell, and only impose protocols “necessary for her safety and security” and consistent with the treatment of women. other inmates.
Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lawyers made the request in connection with the fact that Maxwell was allegedly given a “black eye”, presumably from him using a sock or towel to shield his eyes from the light. Inmates are prohibited from using eye masks.
Maxwell, 59, pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other charges for his alleged role in recruiting four teenage girls for late financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexual abuse between 1994 and 1997, and between 2001 and 2004.
Nathan wants the trial to begin on November 29, subject to courtroom availability and COVID-19 protocols. Maxwell has been in jail since her arrest in July.
Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
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