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Ghislaine Maxwell was placed on suicide watch days before her sentencing hearing, despite not being suicidal, her lawyers have said.
Maxwell, who was found guilty of helping ex-lover Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse girls, is due to have a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 30 to 55 years for Maxwell, who is 60, after she was previously convicted on five of six counts.
In a new application, her lawyers argued that she had no access to any legal documents and was unable to adequately prepare for her sentencing.
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“Dear Judge Nathan, I am writing to inform the Court of a recent development which may necessitate the postponement of Tuesday’s sentencing proceedings. Yesterday, without conducting a psychological evaluation and without justification, the MDC placed Ms Maxwell on suicide watch,” the lawyers said. in the letter.
“She is not allowed to possess and examine legal documents and is not allowed a pen or paper,” they continued. “It prevented her from preparing for sentencing.”
Lawyers, who have previously complained about Maxwell’s detention, said their client was “not suicidal”.
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“Ms Maxwell was abruptly removed from general population and returned to solitary confinement, this time without clothes, toothpaste, soap, legal papers etc,” they continued in the letter. “This morning a psychologist assessed Ms. Maxwell and determined that she was not suicidal.”
“I met with Ms. Maxwell today (after a delay of 97 minutes after arriving at the facility). She is not suicidal,” attorney Bobbi C. Sternheim wrote.
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Sternheim said Maxwell’s legal representation could request an adjournment if they believe their client is not being properly taken care of.
“Currently, she is unable to properly prepare for sentencing,” the attorney argued. “If Ms Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is barred from reviewing legal documents prior to sentencing, becomes sleep deprived and is denied sufficient time to meet and speak with a lawyer , we will formally request an adjournment on Monday.”
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Epstein died in August 2019, a month after being placed on suicide watch while awaiting trial. A psychologist removed Epstein from suicide watch some time before he was found hanged in his cell on August 10.