Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Batman Forever / R. McDonald Event June 13, 1995 in New York.
Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
Ghislaine Maxwell and federal prosecutors temporarily teamed up to ask the judge to keep the proposed questionnaire for potential jurors closed from the public until Maxwell’s upcoming trial.
Maxwell is a British socialite accused of bringing together underage girls who were sexually abused by her friend Jeffrey Epstein.
Prosecutors, in a letter to a judge filed with a judge late Tuesday night, said Maxwell’s lawyers want the written questionnaire and proposed series of oral questions for potential jurors to be kept secret “to avoid media coverage that could harm the jury selection process. “.
“The government agrees to the defense petition,” prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York wrote to Manhattan federal judge Alison Nathan, who is to preside over Maxwell’s trial next month.
In the same letter, prosecutors noted that the presentation of the proposed questions to the jury included recordings of objections by Maxwell’s attorneys and prosecutors to specific questions proposed by either party.
Jury questionnaires typically include questions about whether the potential juror is familiar with the criminal case, from news articles or other sources, whether he knows the people involved in the case, and whether they or someone they know was a victim of a crime.
Nicholas Bias, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, declined to comment on the letter. Maxwell’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell appears during a new indictment hearing at the Federal Court of Manhattan in New York on April 23, 2021 in this courtroom sketch.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
She pleaded not guilty to the case and has been held without bail in Brooklyn federal prison since last year pending trial. Her trial next month will only deal with sex-related charges. She will later be tried for perjury.
In another letter to Nathan, filed on Tuesday, prosecutors said they had a “conservative” estimate that they would keep their version of the case against Maxwell within four weeks of next month’s trial, but that they could rest “as early as the third week. judicial trial. “provided that the cross-examination of witnesses by lawyers does not take too long.
Maxwell’s lawyers, according to the same letter, estimate that their case will last about two weeks. But this may change after the lawyers get acquainted with the lists of witnesses and material evidence from the prosecutor’s office.
Both sides are asking Nathan to seat the jury for a trial, which will be available “after Christmas break,” the letter said.