Ghislaine Maxwell’s request to keep jury questionnaire, juror interviews secret denied by judge

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Maxwell is accused of grooming underage rape victims for late financier Jeffrey Epstein

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A federal judge has denied a request by Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant Ghislaine Maxwell to keep the jury questionnaire out of the public eye in her much-publicized sex trafficking trial.

New York Judge Alison Nathan officially delivered her ruling Friday, saying, “The parties’ proposed questionnaire and request for hardening of voices and requests for hardening of the court’s draft questionnaire and voir until jury selection is complete were denied.” Is.”

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Maxwell’s attorney Bobby Sternheim said Thursday that letting the public view the blank version of the questionnaire, which is used to judge the jury pool of favoritism, hardships, personal connections and awareness of the case, could prevent people from lying in the jury process. will inspire. . She equated it to a “take-home exam,” in which jurors could fill in the answers they thought would be the best position for them to be selected.

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This questionnaire is expected to be given to 600 potential jurors. Twelve primary jury members will be selected with a number of options.

Nathan said a screening questionnaire would be given to potential jurors on November 4, 5 and 12. A list of names and relevant numbers will be made and given to prosecutors and defense lawyers during jury selection.

Nathan will conduct a face-to-face questioning on November 16-19.

Maxwell’s lawyers argued for interrogating potential jurors behind closed doors because they could be asked to reveal sensitive information, such as whether they have been sexually abused. Nathan said she will make adjustments on a case-by-case basis “to ensure juror candor and project juror privacy.”

“These procedures have been carefully balanced and designed to ensure the safety of parties and potential jurors in light of the ongoing pandemic; to ensure juror candor, fairness and confidentiality; and to ensure public access to criminal proceedings.” To ensure the First Amendment,” the ruling states.

Maxwell, 59, is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and is accused of allegedly grooming minor rape victims for the late financier Epstein from 1994 to 2004. He has pleaded not guilty.

Epstein killed himself at a New York correctional center in August 2019, weeks after his arrest on sex trafficking charges.

Jeffrey Epstein.  (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, file)

While in prison, the former British socialite protested his prison situation and unsuccessfully requested to be released on bail.

His trial is scheduled to begin on November 29.


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