Ghislaine Maxwell seeks new trial after juror’s lawsuit for sexual abuse – lawyer Reuters

© Reuters. PHOTOGRAPHY: Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell sits while reading a guilty verdict in her trial for sexual abuse in a sketch in a courtroom in New York, USA, December 29, 2021. REUTERS / Jane Rosenberg / File Photo

Luc Cohen and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted last week of aiding and abetting Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse, deserves a new trial, her lawyer said Wednesday after a juror told the media, including Reuters, he was a victim of sexual abuse.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who presided over Maxwell’s trial, attorney Christian Everdell said there were “indisputable reasons” for Maxwell to win a new trial, to serve the interests of justice.

He called the issue “a matter of urgency”, saying the jurors’ findings “influenced the deliberations and persuaded other jurors to convict Ms. Maxwell”.

Everdell filed the letter shortly after prosecutors who received a conviction for a British social worker for recruiting underage girls for Epstein for sexual assault asked Nathan to open an investigation into the jurors’ statements.

The office of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, who prosecuted Maxwell, declined to comment.

A juror, who asked to be identified by name and middle name, Scotty David, told Reuters on Tuesday juror says-2022-01-05 evening that during the deliberations, after some jurors examined some memories of two of Maxwell’s prosecutors, he shared his experience of sexual abuse as a child.

“When I shared it, they could look back somehow, they could look back on the aspect of remembering sexual abuse,” said Scotty David, a 35-year-old Manhattan resident, referring to other jurors. .

Scotty David did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Nathan’s decision on whether a new trial is justified could depend on how Scotty David answered questions during jury selection about his experiences of sexual abuse, which legal experts say is a key issue defense attorneys are considering to rule out potentially biased jurors.

Hundreds of potential jurors filled out questionnaires asking, among other things, whether they or members of their families had experienced sexual abuse or assault.

During the subsequent interrogation, Nathan asked those who answered “yes” if they would continue to be fair and impartial.

Scotty David told Reuters he did not recall questions about personal experiences with sexual abuse in the questionnaire, but to answer honestly. He said that the questionnaire “flew”.

He said that Nathan did not ask about his personal experience with sexual abuse during the subsequent interrogation.

Prosecutors said the jury’s statements to the media “deserve the court’s attention” and asked for a hearing to be scheduled in about a month.

Media called prosecutors include Reuters, the Daily Mail and The Independent.


Moira Penza, a Wilkinson Stekloff law firm partner and former federal prosecutor, said any investigation is likely to focus on whether the jury made a mistake or failed to answer questions in the initial screening questionnaire for potential jurors or additional questions from a judge .

“Defense attorneys will argue that this issue was so integral as to reveal the bias of that juror or any bias of the juror,” she said.

Nathan has given Maxwell’s lawyers until Jan. 19 to formally request a new trial and explain whether an investigation is needed, and prosecutors’ response should be by Feb. 2. She also said Scotty David can get a lawyer appointed by the court.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on December 29 for sex trafficking and other allegations of recruiting and grooming underage girls to be abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

She faces up to 65 years in prison and was expected to appeal her conviction, which followed a monthly trial.

Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in August 2019 in a prison in Manhattan while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

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