Ghislaine Maxwell is reportedly seeking to serve the majority of her prison sentence for sex trafficking in the UK, far away from the “disgrace” of the US prison system.
Ms Maxwell, 60, was arrested two years ago by the FBI and charged with enticement of children and sex trafficking of minors in connection to her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. She was convinced on five sex-trafficking related counts by a jury in US federal court last December and is facing up to 55 years in prison. She is set to be sentenced later this month.
It is certain that Ms Maxwell is facing many years in jail. It is still an open question, however, where she will serve her sentence. Ms Maxwell’s brother Ian Maxwell toldThe Telegraph that his family wants Ms Maxwell out of the US prison system.
“Inevitably, we want her to serve the sentence here in the UK,” Mr Maxwell said.
Ms Maxwell has been held in solitary confinement in a Brooklyn prison for much of the two years since her arrest, prompting her family to file a complaint with the United Nations over her treatment. Ms Maxwell was removed from solitary confinement last month and can now recieve visitors, though her brother Mr Mawell’s attempted visit was thwarted when the prison was locked down due to a fight.
Mr Maxwell, who had flown from overseas for the pre-arranged visit, said that his treatment by prison authorities was “unreal” and “inhumane.”
Moving to a UK prison would bring Ms Maxwell, who holds US, UK, and French citizenship, closer to family. Ms Maxwell spent much of her childhood in England, living in Oxford and attending Balliol College at the University of Oxford before moving to London in the 1980s.
Ms Maxwell would have to spend the first three years of her sentence in the US, but could then apply to move to another country.
“Ghislaine is fundamentally British despite having lived in the US for many years and having been born in France,” a friend told The Times of London. “Given the vile prison conditions in the US, if I were her I would want to be transferred to any civilized country.”
Ms Maxwell’s legal troubles extend, for the moment, beyond her trafficking-related convictions. She is also facing a second criminal trial for perjury stemming from testimony she gave in a civil suit about Mr Epstein’s abuse of underage girls in 2015, though prosecutors have said that they will drop the charges if she is sentenced on time.