British socialite 기 슬레인 맥스웰 will come face-to-face with prospective jurors for her Manhattan federal court sex trafficking trial on Tuesday, as jury selection begins in earnest.
Fifty potential panelists are expected to appear in the 뉴욕 courtroom to answer questions.
The process is meant to filter out possible jurors who might hold biases that could favor the defense or prosecution. Roughly 600 people completed pre-screening questionnaires earlier this month; of those, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that 231 should proceed to jury selection.
Maxwell, 59, was arrested in July 2020 at a secretive, luxury estate in the small New Hampshire town of Bradford. She was charged with sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury related to the actions of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a New York jail cell while awaiting sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell “played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims” and “in some cases, Maxwell participated in the abuse”, Audrey Strauss, then the acting Manhattan US attorney, said following the arrest.
The indictment charged that Maxwell “would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, 다른 것들 사이, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein”.
Maxwell also attempted to hide her involvement in Epstein’s crimes, providing untrue information “under oath” amid civil litigation, the indictment said. That case was the defamation civil suit filed against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, a longtime Epstein accuser. The judge has ruled that the perjury counts will be tried separately.
Giuffre claimed that Maxwell and Epstein forced her into sexual encounters with Prince Andrew when she was only 17 살이에요. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. The Duke of York has vehemently denied all allegations of misconduct.
Opening statements in Maxwell’s case are scheduled for 29 십일월. The trial is expected to extend beyond the new year.