Attorney Michael Avenatti has been placed in the same jail cell that once housed drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and mob boss John Gotti following his imprisonment for violating the terms of his pretrial release, CNN reports.
Avenatti, who once represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battle with President Donald Trump, has been accused in California of hiding assets from a client, his former legal partner and his ex-wife, and in New York of attempting to extort as much as $25 million from Nike. He was arrested by the IRS on Jan. 4 for allegedly violating the terms of his pretrial release. His bail was revoked and he was sent to New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Avenatti "has been locked down for 24 hours a day, in solitary confinement, except for attorney visits and two medical exams,” his attorneys wrote in a letter to District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe asking him to move Avenatti to the federal jail’s general population.
"He is in a cell reportedly once occupied by El Chapo, on a floor that houses individuals charged with terrorism offenses," the letter continues.
"The temperature in his cell feels like it is in the mid-40s. He is forced to sleep with three blankets. Not surprisingly, he has been having great difficulty functioning."
Avenatti’s attorneys add that they had to meet with their client during a non-contact visit, making it hard for Avenatti to review documents in his case, and that his confinement “is truly hampering our ability to prepare for trial.”
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