Jurors weighing sex-trafficking charges against Ghislaine Maxwell asked for transcripts of testimony from additional witnesses on Wednesday morning, ABC News reports.
The jury has been deliberating for more than 33 hours in the trial, which is on its 18th day. In a note to Judge Alison Nathan, the jury requested the transcripts of five people. One transcript is for Shawn, the boyfriend of an alleged victim named Carolyn.
Another transcript is for Cimberly Espinoza, the defense’s first witness who was Maxwell’s assistant in the 1990s. This is the first transcript from a defense witness requested by the jury.
Two other transcripts contain testimony from FBI agents Amanda Young and Jason Richards, whom the defense asked about alleged inconsistent statements made by accusers. Finally, jurors asked for the transcript of Elizabeth Loftus, a defense expert witness who talked about flaws with human memory.
Upon reading the jury note, Maxwell and defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim stood close together and had a conversation; Maxwell had her sleeves rolled up and was clasping her hands behind her back, according to ABC News. She later was seen speaking with other counsel at the defense table.
The jury on Wednesday also asked Nathan, the judge, whether deliberations would be scheduled over the New Year holiday.
“May we have clarification regarding our schedule going forward. Are we required to continue our deliberations every day including 12/31 and 1/1? We ask in order to plan our schedules accordingly,” the note read, according to ABC News.
Nathan said she would tell jurors that deliberations would not stop until a verdict is reached, according to the news outlet. That means jurors will be expected to work through December 31 and January 1, if necessary.
However, Nathan asked jurors to inform the court about whether they are experiencing a “substantial hardship because of unmovable commitments,” according to ABC News.
“By this I don’t mean to pressure you. You should take all the time that you need,” Nathan reportedly said in her reply, the television network reports.
The defense had asked to make deliberating over New Year’s optional, but Nathan denied that request, raising concerns about “the high likelihood that a necessary member of the trial participants or one or more members of the jury would need to quarantine for 10 days should they test positive” with COVID-19, which Nathan said would result in a “substantial delay,” CNN reports.
“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,” Nathan told lawyers on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Nathan had previously given the jury a break for Christmas.
Maxwell is accused of helping longtime friend Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls. Federal authorities have charged her with sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and multiple counts of conspiracy.
If convicted, she faces up to 70 years in prison.
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[Feature Photo: FILE – In this Nov. 7, 1991, file photo, Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of late British publisher Robert Maxwell, reads a statement expressing her family’s gratitude to Spanish authorities after recovery of his body. Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell has been held in U.S. jail since July 2020, and her brother Ian Maxwell said Wednesday March 10, 2021, she should be released on bail, claiming that she was being held in “degrading” conditions that amount to torture. (AP Photo/Dominique Mollard, File)]