Ghislaine Maxwell's 'misguided effort' to evade FBI involved British military and 'wrapping phone in tin foil'
She is currently in custody at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center while her lawyers argue that she was the victim of a smear campaign by media
Prosecutors arguing against Ghislaine Maxwell's bail petition highlighted how she had members of the British military guarding her, tried to evade FBI authorities who had attempted to arrest her and wrapped her phone in foil to avoid detection. Maxwell, a confidante and former girlfriend of Epstein, a convicted pedophile, has been accused of being complicit in his sex crimes and was arrested by the FBI at her luxurious New Hampshire home on Thursday, July 2.
She is currently in custody in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, with her lawyers petitioning the Manhattan Federal Court for her release by arguing that she has no criminal record and was the victim of a smear campaign from the media.
Prosecutors countered the defense by claiming she had escaped to another room when FBI agents arrived at her home, with court papers viewed by the Sun detailing the raid that led to the capture of the British socialite.
"As the agents approached the front door to the main house, they announced themselves as FBI agents and directed the defendant to open the door," the papers said. "Through a window, the agents saw the defendant ignore the direction to open the door and, instead, try to flee to another room in the house, quickly shutting a door behind her. Agents were ultimately forced to breach the door in order to enter the house to arrest the defendant, who was found in an interior room in the house."
The court papers also said that the FBI found a "phone wrapped in tin foil on top of a desk" at the residence, which they said was a "seemingly misguided effort to evade detection" from law enforcement.
Maxwell's lawyer, Mark Cohen, claimed his client was "not Jeffrey Epstein" and that she was being smeared by a "crushing onslaught of press articles, television specials, and social media posts painting her in the most damning light possible and prejudging her guilt."
Cohen said she stood at risk of catching Covid-19 in her "hell hole" and asked for her release on a $5 million bond. He said, in exchange for a release from prison, Maxwell would agree to home confinement at a property within the New York Area, surrender all travel documents to prosecutors, and wear an electronic tag so her location could be monitored by GPS.
Prosecutors, however, pointed out that she posed an "extreme flight risk" even with these restrictions because she held a French passport, and escape to the country would be disastrous because it does not have an extradition treaty with the US.
"There will be no trial for the victims if the defendant is afforded the opportunity to flee the jurisdiction, and there is every reason to think that is exactly what she will do if she is released," they said.
They also played down the risk of Maxwell catching Covid-19 in jail by revealing that she had been protected by ex-British military members and was "skilled at living in hiding."
"The FBI spoke with the security guard [at the New Hampshire home], who informed the agents that the defendant’s brother had hired a security company staffed with former members of the British military to guard the defendant at the New Hampshire property, in rotations," court papers said.
A hearing on the bail request is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, at the Manhattan Federal Court. Maxwell is facing charges of conspiracy 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 two counts of perjury.
If convicted on the more serious charges, she could face life in prison.