Judge in Ghislaine Maxwell trial to question 231 potential jurors
The judge presiding over the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of being the accomplice of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, said she will question 231 potential candidates to fill the spots for 12 jurors and six alternates in the New York case.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan is set to begin questioning jurors on Tuesday and will ask them if they have connections to any of the people who say they were victims of the abuse or if they have opinions on “people who are wealthy or have luxurious lifestyles,” Reuters reported.
This month, more than 600 potential jury candidates completed questionnaires asking if they had heard of Epstein and Maxwell and inquiring about their own possible sexual abuse experiences, according to Reuters.
The additional questioning, or voir dire, this week is meant to sift through the jurors even more to eliminate as much bias as possible.
Opening statements for the trial are set to begin on Nov. 29.
Last month, Nathan decided that the press and the public would have access to jury selection proceedings for Maxwell’s case after attorneys for Maxwell argued that the jurors should be questioned privately to ensure an “open-minded jury.”
“We’re all aware that there’s been intense media and public interest in this case. … These procedures will ensure the First Amendment rights to public access as is necessary and required by law,” Nathan said at the time of her decision.
Maxwell is accused of assisting with a sex trafficking scheme run by Epstein, who died in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial. Specifically, Maxwell allegedly befriended the young girls Epstein abused in an effort to put them at ease. She pleaded not guilty to six counts of sex trafficking as well as other crimes.
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