A judge rejected the request of Ghislaine Maxwell , former associate of Jeffrey Epstein, to exclude the public from the jury selection process for her trial.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled that the press and public will be given access to view the jury selection process through video transmitted to an overflow courtroom and press room, ABC reported , while also giving two press reporters at a time physical access to the selection courtroom.
“We’re all aware that there’s been intense media and public interest in this case … These procedures will ensure the First Amendment rights to public access as is necessary and required by law,” Nathan said, adding that in making her decision, COVID-19 safety measures were taken into account.
Nathan denied a second request from Maxwell to prohibit the press and public from seeing a survey given to roughly 600 prospective jurors, according to the outlet.
Maxwell was arrested July 2, 2020, on charges relating to the conspiracy to entice and transport minors. She was subsequently hit with additional charges in March for allegedly sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl to provide sexual acts to Epstein.
Jury selection for the 12 main jurors, as well as the six backups, is slated to start on Nov. 4. The selection process was previously postponed from early July, with Nathan citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the defense needing time to look over new evidence in the trial.
Maxwell has continued to deny charges that she aided Epstein in the trafficking of minors and has pleaded not guilty. She has been denied bail on several occasions.
Epstein, who was arrested in 2019 on charges relating to sex trafficking and conspiring to abuse girls as young as 14, pleaded not guilty. He was found dead in his jail cell before he was able to stand trial. The New York City medical examiner would later assert that his death was a suicide.
Author : Elizabeth Faddis
Source : Washington Examiner : Judge rules public has ‘right’ to watch Ghislaine Maxwell trial jury selection