Will Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction be overturned? Retrial sought after juror speaks out

A juror, identified as Scotty David, told news outlets that he told others on the jury about the abuse he faced as a child


                            Will Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction be overturned? Retrial sought after juror speaks out
Will there be a re-trial for Ghislaine Maxwell? (Credits: gettyimages Davidoff Studios Photography / Contributor and Mathieu Polak / Contributor)

On January 14, 2022, Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney filed a motion to overturn her conviction and the case to be retried since one of the juror, identified from his first and middle name as Scotty David, reportedly didn't answer the questionaire -- for taking part as the jury for this case -- truthfully.

Maxwell was found guilty last month under five federal sex trafficking crimes for her involvement in supporting the abuses of sex predator Jeffrey Epstein. She faces up to 65 years in prison. "For the reasons set forth in the Motion, we request that all submissions pertaining to Juror No. 50 remain under seal until the Court rules on the Motion," attorney Bobbi C Sternheim wrote in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan.

Maxwell is requesting a retrial in her sex trafficking case after juror Scotty disclosed that during deliberations he told the jury about his own abuse as a youngster, which might've influenced the jury.

He first said in an interview with the DailyMail.com that he did not mention his past during jury selection because the issue was not posed on the questionnaire. Later, when it was pointed out that question 48 of the 50 was based on the same category, he claimed that he didn't recall the question and that he answered all the questions "honestly."

Scotty also claimed that a second juror had recounted their own account of sexual abuse, which was later confirmed by an anonymous juror.

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In light of Scotty's admissions, Ghislaine's lawyers stated earlier this month that there were "incontrovertible grounds" for a fresh trial. Prosecutors now have until February 2 to answer to Ghislaine's motion, which requests that US District Judge Alison Nathan launch an investigation into the juror's claims.

Even if the juror did not report his abuse on the questionnaire, legal experts argue that Maxwell would not be guaranteed a fresh trial, adding that incidents of juror dishonesty that resulted in verdicts being overturned often involved jurors who consciously lied in order to be picked.



 

In a letter submitted in Federal Court earlier this month, US State Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, demanded that the court "conduct an inquiry," stating that public statements made by the juror "merit the Court's attention." 

The letter stated, "In particular, the juror has described being a victim of sexual abuse. Assuming the accuracy of the reporting, the juror asserted that he 'flew through' the prospective juror questionnaire and does not recall being asked whether he had been a victim of sexual abuse, but stated that he would have answered honestly." This letter, which was signed by all four prosecutors, requested a hearing within the month.



 

Maxwell's lawyers, on the other hand, have claimed that no probe is required, instead seeking for a new trial and saying that the public statements made by both jurors in different news channels are "incontrovertible grounds" for a mistrial.

As the high-profile prosecution teeters on the verge of collapse, Judge Alison Nathan has said that she would hear briefings from all parties.

Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, said, "David and the second jurors' decision to speak out was absolutely the last thing you want when you get a guilty verdict. It's an absolute disaster." She feels the "entire conviction may get tossed and we may have to retry the case."

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