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Ghislaine Maxwell: Retrial Called For Following Juror’s Sexual Abuse Revelation

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Retrial Called For Ghislaine Maxwell Conviction - Alamy Alamy

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers have called for a retrial after it was revealed one of the jurors could have had a conflict of interest within the case. 

The former socialite was convicted on December 29, 2021, of five out of six counts for the sex trafficking of minors to engage in illegal sexual activity within the paedophilic ring of late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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However, the 60-year-old may now face a retrial after experts warned that there could be grounds for a mistrial. This is because a member of the jury may have failed to disclose a personal past experience prior to the deliberations, which could have influenced the other 11 jurors and subsequently the final verdict.

Maxwell’s lawyers have since written to Judge Alison Nathan to claim the alleged failure to disclose such information ‘presents incontrovertible grounds for a new trial’.

Ghislaine Maxwell during jury selection. (Alamy)Alamy

The juror in question, who goes by his first and middle names Scotty David, told The Independent he is survivor of sexual abuse himself, and that the ‘verdict is for all the victims’.

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Christian Everdell, from Cohen and Gresser LLP, claims David ‘told reporters that he disclosed to the other members of the jury during deliberations that he was a victim of sexual abuse and further described his memory of those events’.

Everdell said: ‘According to the juror, his disclosure influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms Maxwell.’

David has claimed that he doesn’t remember being asked about the possibility of him having been a victim of child sex abuse in the prospective juror questionnaire, and that he ‘would have answered honestly’ if such a query arose, Sky News reports.

Instead, the questionnaire is said to have asked if other family members or friends had been victims.

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Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein at Balmoral. (US District Attorney’s Office)US District Attorney’s Office

However, David’s comments were noted as deserving ‘attention by the court’ despite jurors being ‘free to discuss their jury service with anyone of their choosing’, according to the letter, which was sent to Judge Nathan by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

‘The government proposes that the court schedule a hearing in approximately one month, along with an appropriate schedule for pre-hearing briefing regarding the applicable law and the scope of the hearing,’ it added.

Another member of the 12-person jury has also reportedly come forward to state that they similarly experienced sexual abuse as a child, The New York Times reports.

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Ghislaine Maxwell Files For Retrial Over Juror's Own Sexual Abuse Revelation

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The juror stated that their personal experiences ‘had appeared to shape [and] help the jury’s discussions’.

As a result of the two juror’s potential conflict of interest and possible bias, the ‘government believes the court should conduct an inquiry’, the letter by the Department of Justice explained.

Ghislaine Maxwell (Alamy)Alamy

However, it noted that the ‘government’s request for a hearing is premature because based on undisputed, publicly available information, the court can and should order a new trial without any evidentiary hearing’, but resolved that Maxwell ‘intends to request a new trial’.

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‘In light of the issues raised,’ Judge Nathan has replied and set a schedule for the defence team to ‘move for a new trial in light of the issues raised’.

The defence’s motion is set to be put forward on January 19, with February 2 marking the deadline for the government’s response. On February 9, the defence will reply.

The court ‘reserves the decision on whether an inquiry of any kind is warranted’, Judge Nathan stated.

Maxwell currently faces a prison sentence of 75 years. She is also set to stand trial for two different counts of perjury later this year.

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Topics: News, Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, Now

Credits

Sky News and 1 other
  1. Sky News

    Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Defence calls for retrial after juror says he was a 'victim of sexual abuse'

  2. The New York Times

    Maxwell Verdict Is Clouded After Juror’s Disclosure of Past Sexual Abuse