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Judge Issues Order on Maxwell's Prison Treatment

She had bruise in photo released by lawyers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2021 8:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ghislaine Maxwell has a bruise under one eye in the first photo released since she was jailed last year—and her attorney says guards threatened to punish her over it. The photo was included in court documents submitted Thursday by lawyer Bobbi Sternheim, who said her client may have been injured while covering her eyes at night, the Guardian reports. Sternheim said guards flash a light in Maxwell's cell every 15 minutes to check she is still breathing. The attorney said prison staff at the Metropolitan Detention Center confronted Maxwell when they noticed the bruise and threatened to place her in the Special Housing Unit "if she did not reveal how she got it."

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Sternheim said Maxwell didn't know the cause of the bruise, and "she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores," per the BBC. The 59-year-old, who made a court appearance last Friday, is awaiting trial on charges she trafficked girls who were abused by former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein. Her attorneys argue that she is not a suicide risk, but she is being treated like one because of Epstein's prison suicide. US District Judge Alison J. Nathan issued an order Thursday for the government to explain why lights are being flashed into Maxwell's cell, and for her to be provided with eye coverings if necessary, the AP reports. (Read more Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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