Crime Trial Begins for Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's Girlfriend Accused of Grooming Victims Authorities allege Ghislaine Maxwell was Jeffrey Epstein's primary enabler By Chris Harris Chris Harris Twitter Chris Harris has been a senior true crime reporter for PEOPLE since late 2015. An award-winning journalist who has worked for Rolling Stone and MTV News, Chris enjoys prog rock, cycling, Marvel movies, IPAs, and roller coasters. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 29, 2021 12:38 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Opening arguments will begin Monday afternoon in a Manhattan federal courtroom in the trial of British socialite and heiress Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein accused of aiding and partaking in Epstein's abuse of underage girls. A jury of 12 was still being empaneled on Monday morning, after federal judge Alison Nathan questioned more than 200 potential jurors. The judge will also select six alternate jurors. Authorities allege that Maxwell, 59, helped her longtime companion Epstein groom girls as young as 14 for sexual abuse — incidents that she allegedly participated in herself. Rape Survivor Who Worked for Jeffrey Epstein as a Teen Recruiter Reflects on Regrets Maxwell was arrested in June 2020, and charged with six felonies, including conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sex acts and perjury. For more on Ghislaine Maxwell's trial and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day. She pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and has been held without bond in a Brooklyn, N.Y., jail ever since. During a press conference last year, Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that Maxwell helped Epstein "identify, befriend, and groom minor victims of abuse." Jeffrey Epstein's Accusers Speak Out About Abuse and Hope to Inspire Others The pair "had a method," Strauss alleged, involving befriending girls by "asking them questions about their lives and pretending to be taking an interest in them." "After developing a rapport with the victims, Maxwell then tried to normalize sexual abuse with a minor victim through a process known as grooming," Strauss added, alleging that Maxwell would discuss sexual topics with the girls, undress in front of them, and be present for sex acts involving the girls and Epstein. Maxwell has long denied any wrongdoing. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. In August 2019, Epstein died by suicide while in jail. Dozens of women have come forward with allegations of abuse at the hands of Epstein. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.