Ghislaine Maxwell seeks release from custody on US$5 mil bail

This June 5, 1991 file photo shows Ghislaine Maxwell arriving at Epsom Racecourse in Surrey. (AP pic)

NEW YORK:¬†Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers asked a New York court Friday to release her on bail of US$5 million, insisting she will stay in America to fight sex abuse charges related to Jeffrey Epstein.

The British socialite has been charged with sex trafficking minors for Epstein, her former boyfriend and convicted sex offender who killed himself in prison last summer while awaiting trial.

In documents filed with the Southern District of New York, her attorneys said the daughter of late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell “vigorously” denies the charges and “intends to fight them”.

They argued that “she is not a flight risk” and asked Judge Alison Nathan to release her from custody on US$5 million bail, signed by six of her associates and secured by a US$3.75 million property in Britain.

Maxwell’s defence team said she would surrender her passports from the US, Britain and France and would confine herself to a property in New York with electronic GPS monitoring.

They added that the Covid-19 crisis would put Maxwell’s health at “serious risk” if she continues to be incarcerated.

The bail hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1.00pm (1700 GMT). Prosecutors will argue for Maxwell, 58, to remain behind bars.

The charges against her include conspiracy to entice minors as young as 14 years old to travel in order to engage in illegal sex acts and perjury.

Maxwell is also accused of taking part in some of the sexual abuse.

She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.