NEW YORK, NY – Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, the British socialite who was sentenced on December 29 on 5 of 6 counts of treating underage girls to be assaulted by the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, could potentially receive a retrial after one of the jurors who voted to convict her admitted in a recent interview that he himself had been sexually abused.
Christian Everdell, Maxwell’s attorney, said in a court file that the juror’s confession – who apparently did not disclose prior abuse on his jury questionnaire – presents “Compelling grounds for a new trial”.
“According to the juror, her disclosure influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms Maxwell,” Everdell’s record says.
A second member of Maxwell’s legal team, Jeffrey Pagliuca, also filed a case with the court, agreeing with his colleague that the juror may have unfairly tainted the proceedings, saying that “The Court can and should order a new trial”.
The juror in question, a 35-year-old man identified only by his first and middle names – “Scotty David” – during interviews with the media, said he did not recall being asked during the jury selection process if he had been sexually abused in the past, but said that he “I would have answered honestly.”
However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey, a prosecutor in the Maxwell case, said the questionnaire that “Scotty David” was required to complete a specific application if he had been the victim of sexual abuse and, if so, whether the experience would have affected his ability to be impartial during the trial.
Comey noted that prosecutors were concerned with the juror’s sexual abuse confession and questionnaire responses, saying an investigation into the case was warranted.
“Based on the above, the government believes that the court should conduct an investigation,” she said.
“Scotty David” said in interviews he shared his own experience of sexual abuse during the deliberations as other jurors were skeptical of the accuracy of the recollections of some of Maxwell’s accusers; his story influenced the decision of some jurors, he said.
“Scotty David” has since hired a lawyer, and U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan has set a schedule for the prosecution and defense to file their respective papers on the matter.