Ghislaine Maxwell lawyers demand new trial after juror claims he was ‘sexual abuse’

Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex trafficking trial

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The juror, who asked to be identified by his first and middle names, Scotty David, revealed he shared his experience of having been sexually abused as a child after some jurors expressed scepticism about the accounts of two of Maxwell’s accusers. The 35-year-old from Manhattan told The Independent: “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.

”When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse.”

In a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan Mr Everdell described the matter as ”an issue of pressing importance,” saying disclosures by the juror “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms Maxwell”.

The 60-year-old socialite was found guilty last Thursday of helping her former boyfriend – the paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein – to recruit and groom teenagers.

A US jury convicted Maxwell of five out of six charges, though the legal process is not over yet as she faces a separate trial for perjury.

Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

Following the request for a new trial, attorney Todd Spodek made an appearance in the case and said in a court filing that he was representingJuror No 50, but did not give the jurors name.

Juror No. 50 was one of the 18 jurors selected on November 29 to serve as a juror or an alternate.

Hundreds of prospective jurors filled out questionnaires that asked them, among other things, if they or their family members had experienced sexual abuse or assault.

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During follow-up questioning, Ms Nathan asked those who answered “yes” if they would still be able to be fair and impartial.

Scotty David said he did not recall a question about personal experiences with sexual abuse on the questionnaire, but that he would have answered honestly.

He said he “flew through” the questionnaire.

He said Ms Nathan did not ask about his personal experience with sexual abuse during follow-up questioning.

Prosecutors said the juror’s statements to the media “merit attention” by the court and asked for a hearing to be scheduled in about a month.

In other developments, a second juror described having been sexually abused as a child during deliberations, according to The New York Times.

The juror said this revelation appeared to help shape the jury’s discussion.

Moira Penza, a partner at the Wilkinson Stekloff law firm and a former federal prosecutor, said any inquiry into Scotty David would likely focus on whether the juror made a mistake or omission in answering questions on an initial screening questionnaire for prospective jurors or follow-up questions from the judge.

She said: ”Defence lawyers will argue that this question was so part and parcel to figuring out that juror’s bias or any juror’s bias.”

Ms Penza said there have been instances where courts granted new trials based on “purposeful lies or omissions” during the process of screening jurors, known as voir dire, which she said “is not what we’re hearing so far”.

Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison for her conviction.

Ms Nathan gave Maxwell’s lawyers until January 19 to formally request a new trial and explain whether an inquiry is needed, with a response from prosecutors due by February 2.

Maxwell separately faces trial on two perjury counts for allegedly lying about her knowledge of Epstein’s behaviour during a deposition for a civil case.

The date of the perjury trial has not yet been set.

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