The judge in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial on Tuesday asked jurors to meet every day this week, saying a change to the schedule could help avoid a mistrial caused by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
US District Judge Alison Nathan said a positive Covid-19 case among jurors would "(put) at risk our ability to complete this trial."
Maxwell, 60, is accused of recruiting and grooming four teenage girls to have sexual encounters with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004.
The trial had been scheduled to break on Thursday and Friday ahead of New Year's Eve, but, "Given the Omicron variant, I must require deliberations every day going forward until they reach a verdict," the judge told lawyers in the case before calling in the jury to dismiss them for the evening.
Over a three-week trial, jurors have heard emotional and explicit testimony from the four accusers, three of whom said Maxwell herself touched their nude bodies.
Jurors began deliberations on the afternoon of Dec. 20.