Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney asks for new trial after juror gave interviews about his sexual abuse

ByLaura Ly, CNN, CNNWire
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Maxwell guilty on 5 of 6 counts in Epstein sex trafficking case
A jury found Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, guilty on five counts of aiding Epstein in his abuse.

An attorney for Ghislaine Maxwell has filed a motion requesting a new trial, according to a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan filed Wednesday.

The motion is under seal. The letter from attorney Bobbi Sternheim also requests that all documents pertaining to "Juror. No. 50" remain under seal until the court rules on the motion.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in federal court in New York in late December of five counts, including sex trafficking a minor, for her role in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 and 2004.

She faces up to 65 years in prison, and her sentencing is tentatively set for June.

The trial, which lasted about a month, featured four women who testified that Epstein sexually abused them and that Maxwell, his close associate and former girlfriend, facilitated that abuse.

The request for a new trial comes after a member of the jury who convicted Maxwell gave post-trial interviews saying he had been sexually abused as a child.

The juror has given interviews to The Independent, Daily Mail and Reuters as Scotty David, his first and middle name.

He said he shared his own story with fellow jurors during deliberations and that it helped influence their decision.

"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," the juror said in his Reuters interview.

Jurors were explicitly asked on jury questionnaire forms if they had been sexually abused and, if so, if it would impact their abilities to be impartial while deliberating. It is unclear how the juror in question answered the question on the form. CNN's request for a copy of his questionnaire was denied by prosecutors, who said they were "not public information."

Defense attorneys argued in a court filing that the Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant is entitled to a new trial if a party can show a juror failed to answer a material question honestly during jury questioning.

The parties are still litigating the issue and Nathan will eventually rule on the motion for a new trial.

The judge has not yet decided whether questioning the juror is warranted, but she set a briefing schedule for Maxwell's attorneys to file motions for a new trial in light of the development. She also agreed to the prosecutors' request to appoint a lawyer for the juror.

Per the schedule, a response by prosecutors is due by February 2 and a defense reply by February 9.

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