Prosecutors in New York have urged a federal judge to deny bail to Ghislaine Maxwell, deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s former associate who allegedly procured underage girls for the notorious sex offender.

Maxwell, who is charged with recruiting and grooming girls as young as 14 to engage in sex acts with Epstein throughout the 1990s, requested a $28.5 million bail package this week, with her lawyers arguing that the media has “ruthlessly vilified her and prejudged her guilt.” 

In a filing to the US District Court in Manhattan on Friday, government prosecutors urged the court to deny her request, writing that the charges against Maxwell are “incredibly serious” and backed by strong evidence, and that the disgraced socialite poses an “extreme flight risk.”

Maxwell has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since her arrest in New Hampshire in early July. Her lawyers have complained about the dire conditions of her cell, claiming that similar “negligence” drove Epstein to kill himself in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center a year earlier.

District Judge Alison Nathan already rejected a $5 million bail package for Maxwell in July, deeming the suspect a flight risk based on her holding multiple passports. Prosecutors said on Friday that Maxwell has already transferred most of her assets to her husband, demonstrating an ability to “hide her true wealth,” and proving she could “absolutely afford” to flee the US.

Maxwell’s trial is due to begin in July of next year.

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