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A juror was excused from the Ghislaine Maxwell trial after his spouse surprised him with a last-minute Christmas vacation

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ghislaine maxwell trial
Ghislaine Maxwell listens during opening statements in her trial on Monday.REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
  • A juror in Ghislaine Maxwell's trial was dismissed after his spouse surprised him with a vacation.

  • After considering the timing, the judge agreed to free the juror of his duty.

  • Maxwell is accused of child sex trafficking while assisting her longtime friend Jeffrey Epstein.

A juror in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial was excused from the case after his spouse surprised him with a last-minute vacation for Christmas.

Judge Alison Nathan agreed to let the 33-year-old man off jury duty after considering the timing of the trial, which is expected to run about six weeks. Two of the days of the trip would have overlapped with trial days, Nathan said in court.

The judge even asked the juror to try to delay the trip since she did not want to have to push the trial back to accommodate his vacation, but the juror told Nathan that he couldn't and that canceling would be a financial burden.

An attorney for Maxwell suggested that the trial would adjourn for those days, until the juror's vacation was over, but Nathan rejected that suggestion.

It wasn't clear whether the juror was one of the 12 picked for the trial or one of the six alternates.

Maxwell, 59, has been accused of sex trafficking girls as young as 14 years old during her years-long friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide in a federal jail in 2019 while awaiting trial.

Maxwell's trial began Monday. Her defense attorneys claimed that the charges against her were part of an effort by federal prosecutors to distract from their failure to keep Epstein alive in custody.

Maxwell has denied all wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty. If she's convicted of all the charges against her, she could face up to 80 years in prison.

This article has been updated.

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