Ghislaine Maxwell request for secretive jury selection shot down by judge



A Manhattan federal judge shot down a request by Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys to keep secret portions of jury selection in her upcoming sex-trafficking trial.

Judge Alison Nathan denied a request to hide from public view proposed juror questionnaires and other proposed juror questions, which Maxwell’s attorneys sought in a letter submitted in the case last week.

In addition, Nathan rejected a request by Maxwell for so-called “attorney-conducted voir dire,” or the questioning of jurors for potential biases that would bar them from the panel.

Nathan will conduct the voir dire herself, which will be accessible to press and public, as is standard in federal trials, she said.

The judge issued the rulings in a pretrial telephone conference that Maxwell attended remotely from the Brooklyn jail she is being held at pending trial.

Maxwell only spoke during the conference to confirm she was on the call and to greet the judge. “Good afternoon, Your Honor,” is all she said.

Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin on Nov. 4 and opening statements are scheduled for the end of next month, Nathan said.

Maxwell is accused of procuring women and underage girls for multimillionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to abuse in the 1990s and early 2000s.

FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing where she was denied bail for her role aiding Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and eventually abuse of minor girls, in Manhattan Federal Court, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. July 14, 2020 in this courtroom sketch.
Jury selection in the case is expected to happen next month.
Jane Rosenberg/REUTERS
Alison J. Nathan - U.S District Judge
Judge Alison Nathan also denied a request from Maxwell’s team referred to as “attorney-conducted voir dire.”

She also faces perjury charges for allegedly lying about the abuse under oath in a separate civil case brought against her.

Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Epstein hanged himself in a Lower Manhattan jail cell in 2019 weeks after he was arrested by the feds on sex-trafficking charges.


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