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Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys are hoping to bar prosecutors from using the terms “victims,” “minor victims” or mention any of allegations of “rape” by Jeffrey Epstein at her upcoming sex trafficking trial.
Maxwell’s attorney, Jeffrey Pagliuca filed a notice Monday, obtained by Oxygen.com, outlining more than a dozen motions they plan to file to suppress or exclude evidence or testimony in her federal criminal trial, slated to begin next month.
The "motions in limine," as they are called, are motions – to be discussed outside the presence of a jury – to exclude evidence from a trial.
Among the list of 13 motions the defense team plans to file in the case, Maxwell’s attorneys are asking a federal judge to prevent prosecutors from using numerous phrases often linked to her case including the use of the word “victims” or “minor victims.”
They also seek to prevent any testimony about any alleged “rape” by Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell has been accused by federal prosecutors of helping Epstein, a convicted sex offender, recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage girls. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Epstein—who was facing federal charges of sex trafficking himself—took his own life in a New York federal jail cell in August of 2019.
As the case against Maxwell proceeds, her attorneys are asking the federal judge to exclude testimony from one of her accusers, known in court documents as Accuser-3; exclude evidence seized from a search of Epstein’s Palm Beach home in 2005; and exclude any “unauthenticated” hearsay document from a “suspect source.”
Her attorneys also hope to keep out evidence of “alleged false statements” Maxwell allegedly made under oath during depositions in a civil case brought on by vocal Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of “repeatedly” lying during the testimony she provided under oath in 2016 “in an effort to conceal her crimes,” according to an indictment in the case.
Her attorneys have also proposed using a secretive process to screen potential jurors in the case, by questioning them out of the public spotlight.
“A tsunami of reporting in every conceivable form—newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio, video streaming services, podcasts, social media platforms—has broadcast this case locally, nationally and globally,” her attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote in a Oct. 12 memo obtained by Law & Crime about the intense media coverage the case has already received. “Without a doubt, and without any credible evidentiary basis, Ms. Maxwell has been tried, convicted, and condemned in the court of public opinion.”
Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, declined to comment to Oxygen.com on the defense motions.
Maxwell’s brother, Ian Maxwell, recently came to his sister’s defense insisting in a new interview with The Telegraph that his sister is innocent.
“Ghislaine has people who love her; people who trust her. This is a family that has been knocked down, gets up, gets knocked down again and then gets up,” he said. “We are a family that fights for each other and this is a big fight we are in. We are hopeful justice will prevail as it must.”
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