(Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell urged a judge to release her from federal prison after she posts a $5 million bond.
Maxwell will not flee and faces a coronavirus health risk at the New York jail where she’s being held, her attorneys said in a 22-page court filing Friday. They proposed that she be subject to home confinement and said that six other people will guarantee her bond.
Maxwell, the daughter of late British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, faces U.S. charges that she lured girls as young as 14 for sexual encounters with her associate Jeffrey Epstein. She has been in jail since her arrest on July 2.
Prosecutors in New York want to keep Maxwell detained until her trial. A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on bail July 14.
Maxwell’s brief advances two reasons for her release -- the virus threat and her ties to the U.S. The defense lawyers also declare that “Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein.”
“Ms. Maxwell vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” the lawyers wrote. “Far from ‘hiding,’ she has lived in the United States since 1991, has litigated civil cases arising from her supposed ties to Epstein, and has not left the country even once since Epstein’s arrest a year ago.”
Read More: Maxwell’s Decision to Stay in U.S. May Help Her Chances for Bail
Maxwell’s team disputed prosecutors’ claim that she faces the potential of decades in prison if she’s convicted. Even if found guilty on all the counts against her, she would likely get no more than 10 years, they said. They say she has faced death threats and a “media feeding frenzy” and was living in New Hampshire, where she was arrested to protect herself and her family.
Defense lawyers said Maxwell remained in the country even after Epstein’s death in jail, an apparent suicide, when several of his accusers began calling for her arrest and prosecution. They also said Maxwell would have been willing to turn herself into the government.
”Had the government alerted her counsel that she was about to be arrested, we would have arranged for Ms. Maxwell’s prompt, voluntary surrender,” her lawyers said. “Instead, the government arrested Ms. Maxwell without warning on the day before the July 4th holiday, thus ensuring that she would be in federal custody on the one-year anniversary of Epstein’s arrest.”
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