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Judge denies Ghislaine’s try for jury secrecy

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Old 10-22-2021, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default Judge denies Ghislaine’s try for jury secrecy

Judge denies Ghislaine’s try for jury secrecy




By Molly Crane-Newman
new york daily news


A Manhattan federal judge shot down a request Thursday from jailed British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to conduct jury selection for her sex trafficking trial in secret.
Judge Alison Nathan ruled that legal precedent regarding the public’s right to follow a trial overrides Maxwell’s fears that further publicity harms her right to an impartial jury. Prosecutors on the case had joined Maxwell’s request for an unusual amount of secrecy in the jury selection process.
“These procedures will protect the First dment right to public access as necessary and mandated by law,” Nathan said.
The judge will also make the juror questionnaire public, over objections from Maxwell’s lawyers.
Maxwell, 59, has been in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center since her July 2020 arrest. Her trial in Manhattan Federal Court is scheduled to start Nov. 29.
She said little during the lengthy hearing, which was conducted over the telephone.
“This is Ms. Maxwell, and I am on the line,” she said from jail. “I am alone in the room.”
Prospective jurors will be asked they’ve ever protested for or against laws and regulations related to sex trafficking, sex crimes against minors, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or otherwise been involved in advocacy for victims of sexual abuse.
Regarding prospective jurors who might lie, Nathan said, “We’ll smoke them out.”
The full questionnaire is expected to be made public by the end of this week, Nathan said.
The court expects to summon up to 600 prospective jurors. The group will be whittled down to 12 jurors and six alternates, said Nathan.
Maxwell is charged with grooming teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse for more than a decade, as well as lying under oath about her perverted lifestyle. She has pleaded not guilty.
Epstein, a close friend and former flame of Maxwell’s, hanged himself in 2019 while awaiting trial for underage sex trafficking. The trial is expected to last more than a month.
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