Home LATEST NEWS At Maxwell trial, judge urges jury over COVID threat

At Maxwell trial, judge urges jury over COVID threat


Worrying about a astronomical peak cases of Omicron variant contaminations in recent days in New York, Judge Alison Nathan threatened the 12 jurors to bring them back Thursday and Friday, despite the end of the year holiday truce, if they did not complete their Wednesday interminable deliberations.

After another full day behind closed doors, the jury was unable to unanimously say whether Ms Maxwell should be convicted of sex crimes or found innocent. According to the judge, the jurors reported progress in their discussions started a week ago and will return Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Tuesday morning, Judge Nathan had warned of a increasing risk that trial participants contract the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and be forced into quarantine.

This would further delay the end of the trial.

Ghislaine Maxwell faces more than 10 years in prison

Ghislaine Maxwell has been appearing in Manhattan Federal Court since November 29 and the hearing ended on December 20. Since then, and after a break for Christmas, the six women and six men of the popular jury have been deliberating for several hours a day in secret, but without reaching an agreement.

They must decide the guilt or innocence of the former companion of influential American financier Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sex crimes, but who committed suicide in prison in the summer of 2019 before his trial.

Ms Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, has been in prison in New York since her arrest in the summer of 2020, prosecuted among other things for providing Mr. Epstein between the years 1994 and 2004 with underage sexually exploited girls. .

Holding a triple British, French and American nationality, Ghislaine Maxwell risks decades in prison if she is found guilty of the six crimes attributed to her, all in connection with sexual violence committed by Jeffrey Epstein on four victims, minors at the material time, and who testified during the trial.

The daughter of British press magnate Robert Maxwell (died 1991) pleads not guilty.

Clinton and Trump cited

Besides Jeffrey Epstein, other celebrity shadows hang over this trial: British Prince Andrew, a close friend of Mr. Epstein, has been the subject since August of a separate complaint for sexual assault filed by an American, Virginia Giuffre.

The names also of former US presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have been mentioned because of their presence at parties with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York or Florida in the 1990s, with supporting photos.

On the French side, the former model agent Jean-Luc Brunel, a friend of Epstein, was indicted and imprisoned in Paris in December 2020 for rape and sexual assault.

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