The jury in the sex trafficking case of Ghislaine Maxwell has asked for transcripts for six witnesses as it continues deliberating in New York City on Wednesday.
CNN reported that Judge Alison Nathan reminded the jury that they must continue deliberating through the New Year’s holiday given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
“Yes, you will continue deliberations as needed every day going forward including 12/31 1/1 and 1/2 until you reach a verdict,” Judge Nathan wrote in response when asked about scheduling.
The jury asked for the first transcript at 9:30am after thirty hours of deliberations. They requested the testimony of accuser Carolyn’s former boyfriend, Shawn; Cimberly Espinosa, who was Maxwell’s former assistant at Jeffrey Epstein’s New York office in the late 1990s; and FBI Agents Amanda Young and Jason Richards. They also wanted the transcript of the testimony of defense witness Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist who testified about human memory.
The judge had told the 12-member panel that they will now work every day until they reach a verdict.
“Put simply, I conclude that proceeding this way is the best chance to both give the jury as much time as they need and to avoid a mistrial as a result of the Omicron variant,” she said.
Judge Nathan added that she has has concerns about how the Omicron variant will impact the trial.
“We are very simply at a different place regarding the pandemic than we were only one week ago and we now face a high and escalating risk that jurors and/or trial participants may need to quarantine, thus disrupting trial (and) putting at risk our ability to complete this trial,” the judge said.
Judge Nathan later read a note from the jury that read, “Our deliberations are moving along and we are making progress.”
Maxwell is on trial for various charges related to her allegedly grooming young girls for sex with the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and sometimes participating in the abuse herself. If convicted on all charges, she’s facing up to seventy years in prison.
Maxwell’s defense lawyers have claimed that she’s being used as a scapegoat for Epstein, who allegedly committed suicide in prison back in 2019 while awaiting trial on his own sex crime charges. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges she is facing, and she’s been in federal custody since July of 2020 after being denied bail multiple times by Judge Nathan.