Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted last week of conspiring to recruit and groom teenage girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein, plans to request a new trial after a juror in her case revealed he was a victim of sexual abuse, her defense lawyers said Wednesday.
The lawyers said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan that “based on undisputed, publicly available information, the Court can and should order a new trial without any evidentiary hearing.”
Maxwell’s attorneys told the Manhattan court on Wednesday that there were “incontrovertible grounds for a new trial” after the juror revealed that he used his experience as a survivor of abuse to guide jury deliberations.
It came an hour after prosecutors themselves asked Judge Nathan to hold an inquiry into interviews the juror gave to various media outlets. It is not clear if the man, who gave his name as “Scotty David”, revealed the information on the jury questionnaire during selection, as he was required to do.
“Scotty” admitted this week that he helped the jury reach a guilty verdict that saw Maxwell, 60, convicted and facing up to 65 years in prison. He also told jurors how he had waited until secondary school before telling anyone about his abuse, in an effort to justify why some of Maxwell’s victims may not have come forward earlier.
“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,” he told Reuters.
Question 48 of 51 on the questionnaire jurors were given was: “Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?,” followed by: “If yes, do you believe that this would affect your ability to serve fairly and impartially as a juror in this case?”
David told DailyMail.com that he was ‘quite excited’ to be selected for jury duty and that when he discovered that he had been called for selection for the Maxwell trial he was, ‘shocked.’
He said, “I thought this is incredible. If I get selected for this that would be an honor.” He added, “I honestly didn’t know much about her or Jeffery Epstein going into it. I didn’t know who Jeffery Epstein was until he died.”
If it was not disclosed in the questionnaire jurors were made to fill out before selection, this “could definitely be an issue,” Moira Penza, a former federal prosecutor in New York, told The Telegraph.
“I certainly hope the juror disclosed this fully on his questionnaire. A little strange the defence didn’t strike him. In the first instance it would likely form the basis for a motion to Judge (Alison) Nathan for a new trial,” she said.
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