Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged former madam of the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, will be seeking a new trial after a juror revealed to reporters that he had been a victim of sexual abuse.
Reuters reported that Christian Everdell, one of Maxwell’s lawyers, sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan saying that there were “incontrovertible grounds” for the 60-year-old former British socialite to be given a new trial. Describing the matter as “an issue of pressing importance,” Everdell argued that disclosures by the juror “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell.”
Everdell sent this letter after asking Judge Nathan to open an inquiry into the statements made by this juror. This came after Scotty David, the juror in question, told the media that after some jurors expressed skepticism about the accounts of two of Maxwell’s accusers, he told them about his own story about being sexually abused as a child.
“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,” David said.
Prospective jurors for this case had to fill out a questionnaire that asked if they or their family members had experienced sexual abuse or assault. Anyone who answered “yes” was then asked by Judge Nathan if they would still be able to be fair and impartial.
David said that while he did not remember a question about past sexual abuse, he claimed that he would have answered honestly he “flew through” the questionnaire.
Maxwell was convicted of five out of six charges related to her grooming young girls for sex with Epstein and sometimes participating in the abuse herself. She is now facing up to 65 years in prison, should her conviction stand.
Legal expert Neama Rahmani said that David’s decision to speak out is “absolutely the last thing you want when you get a guilty verdict. It’s an absolute disaster,” according to Daily Mail.
“This entire conviction may get tossed and we may have to retry the case,” she added.
Maxwell has been in federal custody since July of 2020, spending over a year behind bars while she awaited trial. Epstein allegedly committed suicide in prison back in August of 2019 while awaiting trial on sex crime charges of his own.