As Ghislaine Maxwell's family continues to call for her to be released from jail while awaiting trial, her brother has now claimed she has been subjected to "brutal" conditions.
Here's the full story...
Warning: This article contains details that some readers may find upsetting.
Now, we all know where this horror story began.
Jeffrey Epstein, born in New York City in 1953, made a name for himself with elite investment bank Bear Stearns, before founding his own investment firm.
But now, he's better known for more sinister reasons.
Epstein was first convicted for a range of sex crimes in 2005 when he pleaded guilty to molesting an underage girl.
Epstein's crimes were far-reaching and varied.
But by 2008, he had been convicted for running an underage prostitution ring connected to a number of high-powered individuals.
Epstein served just thirteen months for this conviction.
But this wasn't the end of his legal troubles.
On July 6th 2019, Epstein was arrested again for sex trafficking of minors in the states of Florida and New York and was held awaiting trial in a New York prison.
Many were looking forward to justice being served...
Because Epstein had managed to get away with vile and criminal acts for the majority of his life, most likely a result of his money and social clout.
And for his victims, there was finally hope of justice being done.
And many believed his conviction could uncover other high profile and wealthy sex offenders.
Epstein had numerous friends in high places, many of which were known to travel to his elusive island, where the majority of his crimes took place.
Other men involved with Epstein included political figures such as Bill Clinton, Donald Trump...
And, even more controversially, Prince Andrew from the British royal family.
Of course, all of Epstein's high-profile friends have denied any involvement in this scandal, but people aren't too convinced.
However, before Epstein could dish the dirt on his friends...
He was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell on August 10th, 2019... apparently as a result of hanging.
It was initially presumed that Epstein's death was a suicide...
Anyway, in the months following his death, the investigation fell silent.
Progress seemed to be sparse, but then, the release of Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich on Netflix in May last year catapulted the whole thing back into the spotlight.
The documentary gave several of Epstein's victims a platform they had never had before...
via: NetflixAnd they each detailed similar, yet horrifying tales of being sexually assaulted and raped while giving Epstein and his friends "massages."
Many huge names were yet again circulated throughout the documentary...
And the involvement of Epstein's ex-girlfriend and close friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, fifty-nine, were outlined even further.
Now, in the months following Epstein's death, Maxwell remained hidden and out of the public eye...
via: NetflixAnd, at that time, she wan't reprimanded or publicly questioned for her involvement in the scandal.
But this didn't quite add up...
Because a large majority of Epstein's victims had insinuated that Maxwell had been the to "recruit" the often underaged girls.
So, people were delighted when the news broke of her arrest.
It was reported in July 2020 that Maxwell had finally been arrested by the FBI in New Hampshire.
The British socialite was taken straight into custody...
But she was described as a flight risk during the hearing, so was therefore ordered to remain in custody while being transferred to New York for a detention hearing.
Maxwell was formally charged with 6 counts:
via: GettyConspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and 2 counts of perjury, according to the indictment.
She was also charged for repeatedly lying about her involvement in the sex trafficking ring during a 2016 deposition.
If found guilty, Maxwell could be facing thirty-five-years behind bars.
However, on July 14th, Maxwell pleaded not guilty.
via: NetflixAt a hearing via video link, the disgraced socialite remained valiant in her innocence by pleading not guilty.
However, she was still denied bail.
US federal prosecutors said that she is an "extreme" flight risk and should remain in custody, as per the BBC.
She will remain behind bars until her trial date...
Which has been scheduled for this year, July 2021.
But just last month, more heinous details emerged regarding her role in the crimes.
New court documents have revealed that a witness has recently dished more dirt on Maxwell, claiming that she instigated several "sexual encounters" among the victims.
The witness alleges that Maxwell once directed a room of underage girls to "kiss, dance and touch one another in a sexual way."
Another witness was recorded as being "in tears" as he recalled a fifteen-year-old girl "in utmost distress" — claiming that Maxwell "stole the young girl's passport and tried to make her have sex with Epstein and then threatened her."
The documents also included a handwritten telephone note from July 2004 in which Maxwell warned Epstein that a girl aged fourteen at the time was "available" and that he had "no one for tomorrow."
And as you'd expect, Maxwell's time in prison hasn't been an easy one.
The former socialite's lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, argued that Maxwell is facing tougher jail conditions than inmates convicted of murder or terrorism.
Sternheim said Maxwell is effectively being kept in solitary confinement and is "excessively and invasively" monitored twenty-four hours a day...
Ghislaine Maxwell seeks dismissal of criminal case, cites Epstein agreement https://t.co/K9gXZn4rIE https://t.co/CEibPVsqOt— Reuters (@Reuters)1611697507.0
Along with video surveillance in her cell, cameras also follow her movements when she is allowed to leave it.
In her letter, Sternheim then said:
The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are so heinous, she needs to remain in prison until her trial date, at the ve… https://t.co/rYFGYtX11c— DorindaAVYS (@DorindaAVYS)1611673141.0
And now, her brother, Ian Maxwell, has spoken out about the conditions... describing them as "brutal."
Speaking with the Telegraph, he said:
"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."
"The sustained brutal, degrading – and wholly unnecessary – conditions of my sister's solitary imprisonment are a disgrace to any civilized democracy."
He explained that his sister, who he believes is innocent, is being kept under close watch in a cell measuring 6 feet by 9 feet that "includes a concrete bed and a toilet".
He claims the situation is causing her distress and as a result she has lost nearly 20lbs in weight.
"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".
The Telegraph reports that Maxwell has remained on 24/7 suicide watch.
This is a developing story, and updates will be posted accordingly.