Ghislaine Maxwell lawyers look set to call for retrial after juror reveals childhood sex abuse
Prosecutors have urged the judge who presided over the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell to conduct an inquiry into a juror’s reported claims that he was a victim of sexual abuse.
The move comes as attorneys for Ghislaine Maxwell appeared to have requested a new trial for the convicted sex predator due to the juror’s claims in a number of interviews following the trial.
In a letter to Judge Alison Nathan, defence attorneys said the juror’s comments were an “issue of pressing importance” because he told a reporter that sharing his history of sexual abuse helped convince the panel to convict Maxwell, the New York Post reports.
Portions of the letter are redacted, with the defence suggesting the juror’s disclosure “presents incontrovertible grounds for a new trial”.
During jury selection, prospective jurors were given questionnaires, which included a question on whether they or anyone in their families had been the victim of sexual abuse.
The juror in question, named as Scotty David, told Reuters that he “flew through” the questionnaire and cannot remember being asked about personal experiences with sexual abuse. He could only say he would have answered honestly.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted last week of charges that she conspired to recruit and groom teenage girls to be sexually abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein.
“I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the colour of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video,” Scotty David is said to have told his fellow jurors.
“But I can’t remember all the details, there are some things that run together.”
In a letter to the judge, prosecutors said those reports “merit attention by the Court”.
Prosecutors suggested a hearing be scheduled in about a month, along with a schedule for lawyers to file briefs regarding the applicable law and the scope of the hearing.
“The Government respectfully submits that any juror investigation should be conducted exclusively under the supervision of the Court,” prosecutors wrote.
Epstein killed himself in jail in 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.
No sentencing date has been set after Maxwell’s conviction and she is still facing trial on perjury charges.
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