Ghislaine Maxwell’s lengthy jury selection for her sex trafficking trial process began Monday.
The case is tied to late convicted paedophile and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was Maxwell’s former boyfriend. Maxwell is accused of sex trafficking children, perjury and the enticement of minors.
The British socialite emerged from a New York prison after spending 16 months in jail to attend the beginning of the selection. The jury selection is set to start in earnest on Tuesday for Maxwell in Manhattan federal court. The trial is expected to last for six weeks, and is set to begin Nov. 29.
Maxwell is charged with a laundry list of offenses. Charges allege that she recruited underage girls for Epstein and his friends to abuse for a decade from 1994 to 2004, landing her six felony charges tied to sex trafficking, conspiring and enticing minors.
Two additional felony perjury charges will also be tried separately at a later date to be announced. If Maxwell is convicted of the most serious crimes, she could face up to 40 years in prison.
Maxwell gave an interview from her cell in the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, describing her time in jail as a ‘living hell’ in which she has been given food with maggots in it and has stopped showering because she has been abused by prison guards.
Maxwell is claiming she has a poor state of health, which could be a factor in the upcoming trial. She also expressed fears of being denied a fair trial.
Maxwell has been held in solitary confinement since she was arrested in July 2020, which was 11 months after Epstein took his own life in a prison cell in Manhattan while awaiting his own trial on sex trafficking charges. She was denied bail for a fourth time last week.
Maxwell claims she is innocent and played no part in Epstein’s heinous crimes.