- Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of acting as a buyer of underage girls for the criminal sexual activities of her friend Jeffrey Epstein, and prosecutors want a proposed questionnaire to be made public to potential jurors ahead of her upcoming trial. be sealed from view.
- Epstein, a former friend of President Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, died in prison by suicide while awaiting trial
- Maxwell, a British socialite, will face trial in November.
Ghislaine Maxwell and federal prosecutors have temporarily joined together to ask a judge to keep a proposed questionnaire sealed from public view for potential jurors ahead of Maxwell’s upcoming trial.
Maxwell is a British socialite who has been accused by her friend Jeffrey Epstein of acting as a buyer of underage girls for sexual exploitation.
Prosecutors said in a letter to the judge filed in court late Tuesday that Maxwell’s lawyers want written questionnaires and that the proposed series of oral questions for jurors to be kept secret “to avoid media coverage that could disrupt the jury selection process.” can affect.”
“The government consents to the defense request,” prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York wrote to Manhattan federal judge Alison Nathan, who is scheduled to preside over Maxwell’s trial next month.
In the same letter, prosecutors noted that the submission of proposed jury questions includes notation of objections. Maxwell’s lawyers and prosecutors have specific questions suggested by either side.
As a rule, jury questionnaires include questions about whether a potential juror has prior knowledge of a criminal case from news articles or other sources, whether they know the people involved in the case, and whether they or those people Those they know have been victims of crimes.
Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Nicholas Biase declined to comment on the letter. Maxwell’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The criminal cases of both Epstein and Maxwell have attracted heavy media attention since July 2019, when Epstein, a former friend of President Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, was arrested on charges of child sex trafficking.
Wealthy money manager Epstein died a month later in prison, having officially committed suicide by hanging. Maxwell, who was once romantically involved with Epstein, was arrested in July 2020 on charges that included luring minors to have sex with Epstein and giving perjury.
He has pleaded not guilty in the case, and has been held without bail in Brooklyn Federal Prison since the trial pending last year. Her trial next month will only deal with sex-related charges. In case of perjury, he will be tried at a later date.
In another letter to Nathan filed on Tuesday, prosecutors said their “conservative” estimate is that they will rest their case against Maxwell within four weeks from the start of the trial next month, but that they will be “in the third week of the trial.” “” Provided that the examination of the witnesses by the defense lawyers is not prolonged.
According to the same letter, Maxwell’s lawyers estimate that his case will last about two weeks. But that could change after defense attorneys review witnesses for prosecutors and display the list.
The letter says both sides are asking Nathan to have sitting jurors for the trial available “beyond the Christmas break.”