Jeffrey Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell teams up with feds in bid to keep proposed jury questionnaire secret in sex crime case

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Batman Perpetually/R. McDonald Occasion on June 13, 1995 in New York Metropolis.

Patrick McMullan | Getty Photographs

Ghislaine Maxwell and federal prosecutors have briefly teamed as much as ask a decide to maintain a proposed questionnaire for potential jurors sealed from public view earlier than Maxwell’s upcoming trial.

Maxwell is the British socialite accused of acting as a procurer of underage girls to be sexually abused by her friend Jeffrey Epstein.

Prosecutors, in a letter to the decide filed in courtroom late Tuesday night, stated Maxwell’s legal professionals need the written questionnaire and proposed sequence of oral questions for would-be jurors saved secret “to keep away from media protection which will prejudice the jury choice course of.”

“The Authorities consents to the protection’s request,” prosecutors from the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the Southern District of New York wrote to Manhattan federal Decide Alison Nathan, who is because of preside over Maxwell’s trial subsequent month.

In the identical letter, prosecutors famous that the submission of proposed jury questions contains notations of objections Maxwell’s legal professionals and prosecutors have with explicit questions prompt by both social gathering.

Jury questionnaires as a rule embody queries about whether or not a possible juror has prior data of a prison case, from information articles or different sources, whether or not they know folks related to the case, and whether or not they or folks they know have been victims of crimes.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ workplace, declined to touch upon the letter. A lawyer for Maxwell didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell seems throughout her arraignment listening to on a brand new indictment at Manhattan Federal Courtroom in New York, April 23, 2021, on this courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

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She has pleaded not guilty in the case, and has been held without bail in a Brooklyn federal jail since last year pending trial. Her trial subsequent month will deal solely with the sex-related costs. She might be tried at a later date for the perjury case.

In one other letter to Nathan filed Tuesday, prosecutors stated their “conservative” estimate is that they’ll relaxation their case towards Maxwell inside 4 weeks from the beginning of the trial subsequent month, however that they might relaxation “as early because the third week of trial” offered that cross-examination of witnesses by protection legal professionals will not be overly lengthy.

Maxwell’s legal professionals, in keeping with the identical letter, estimate their case will final about two weeks. However that might change after protection attorneys evaluation the prosecutors’ witness and exhibit lists.

Either side are asking Nathan to seat jurors for the trial who can be found “past the Christmas vacation,” the letter stated.

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