4 trials set to captivate America: From Ghislaine Maxwell to Jussie Smollett
All the alleged suspects are facing completely different charges but each of them have grabbed the nation's attention and news headlines
For Americans, December 2021 is not just about festivities and holidays. This month will also see a lot of high-profile trials play out, which will hopefully end with justice being doled out. From Ghislaine Maxwell and Jussie Smollett to Kim Potter and Josh Duggar, all of them are up for their respective trials.
No one knows what the future holds for them and if they will celebrate New Year's Day behind bars or as a free person, but their victims and affected families are praying they will be convicted. Also, there are chances that the trials and the final verdicts will divide the US — just like how the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict created an uproar across the country.
Ghislaine Maxwell trial: What happened to the British socialite's TerraMar Project?
Let’s take a look at what Ghislaine Maxwell, Jussie Smollett, Kim Potter, and Josh Duggar did and what they have been charged with.
Ghislaine Maxwell has continuously been in the news for the past few years. The 59-year-old British socialite is accused of luring in and pimping girls and young women to satisfy her now-deceased associate Jeffrey Epstein for running a sex trafficking ring. She is facing eight counts and if convicted of all charges, she will be sent to prison for several years.
Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire in July last year and an indictment report filed at the time read, “From at least 1994 through at least 1997, Ghislaine Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and participated in Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Jeffrey Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18.”
The report stated, “The victims were as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein, both of whom knew that their victims were in fact minors. As a part and in furtherance of their scheme to abuse minor victims, Maxwell and Epstein enticed and caused minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residences in different states, which Maxwell knew and intended would result in their grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse.”
Smollet is an actor and singer, well known for playing the character of Jamal Lyon in ‘Empire’. He has also worked in Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’ and ‘Marshall’. In 2019, the 39-year-old alleged that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. Initially, a lot of support poured in for him after he claimed that two men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him on January 29, 2019. Smollet also claimed to have received a racist and homophobic letter on the set of ‘Empire’. But eventually, it was found that all of the allegations were reportedly staged to malign Donald Trump supporters. Also in February 2019, Chicago police said the motive behind the sham was to get publicity and a better salary.
‘The Mighty Ducks’ actor was then charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct in February 2020. He had pleaded not guilty. In 2020, he told BBC: “The thing that really gets me is the fact that there are black and brown women and men behind bars for things they did not do.” Now, the trial in Smollet’s case will begin on Monday, November 29, as jury selection has started.
Potter will also soon face trial for the April 2021 shooting death of Daunte Wright. According to reports, Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was pulled over for an outstanding arrest warrant in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. And when police tried to take him into custody, a brief struggle ensued and Potter shot at him at close range. Though Wright drove off a short distance, his vehicle crashed into another. He was taken out by the cops, who performed CPR on him. But he couldn’t be saved. The incident was captured on a body camera. In her defense, Potter said she intended to use a Taser gun, but by mistake used the real one.
The White female officer has been charged with both first and second-degree manslaughter charges in connection to the death of the young man. The jury selection in her case will reportedly start on November 30 and the trial will begin on December 8.
The former television personality is controversy’s favorite child. He has faced serious accusations since he was just 14-15 years old. Though he was never tried for other earlier accusations, this time he will face trial in a child pornography case. Josh is accused of downloading and possessing “65 images of child pornography and a two-minute video featuring young girls between the ages of 5 and 10.”
He has been charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography, to which he pleaded not guilty earlier. It has been said that the selection process for the jury will begin on November 30. If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 20 years behind bars.