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Judge denies Ghislaine Maxwell’s bid for new trial

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Ghislaine Maxwell lost her bid for a new trial Friday after she requested a re-do because of a chatty juror who threw her conviction into doubt with a series of post-trial interviews.

The order by Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan came weeks after she grilled the juror, who was identified by media outlets by his first and middle names, Scotty David, about his answers on a juror questionnaire during the selection process last year.

David responded “no” to questions on the form that asked if he or his close family and friends had ever been the victims of sexual abuse, according his publicly filed questionnaire.

At the hearing, David claimed he was “super distracted” while filling out the questionnaire and mistakenly marked “no” to the questions as he “flew through” the form.

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In interviews with a number of media outlets shortly after Maxwell was convicted, David revealed he had been the victim of childhood sexual abuse – and said he shared his experience during jury deliberations.

His stories, he told Reuters, helped convince his fellow panelists to convict Maxwell of sex trafficking and other charges.

Infamous British socialite and Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell had her bid for a retrial shot down.
SDNY

In court filings submitted after the hearing, Maxwell’s attorneys said David’s answers reveal his bias because his childhood sexual abuse was “remarkably” similar to accounts given by victims who testified at trial.

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“If there is one thing we learned from Juror 50 at the Hearing, it is this: he should never have been a member of this jury,” Maxwell’s attorneys wrote.

“The abuse Juror 50 described at the Hearing … was remarkably similar to the abuse described by the government’s four key victim witnesses and would, by itself, have formed the basis for a challenge for cause,” they wrote.

If David had revealed his sexual abuse during selection, he would have been stricken from the jury, her attorneys added.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued the juror made an “honest mistake” – and said even if David had revealed his past sexual abuse on the questionnaire, he would have been allowed on the jury, they wrote. 

“Juror 50’s sworn responses made clear that he was a fair and impartial juror who did not harbor any bias and who would not have been excused for cause,” prosecutors from the Southern District of New York wrote. 

At trial, prosecutors painted Maxwell as a serial “predator” who preyed on young, vulnerable girls and lured them into her orbit for multimillionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse. 

Maxwell was convicted on five of six counts in December, including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, after a monthlong trial where four of her accusers testified. 

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Ghislaine Maxwell sits at the defense table with her lawyers as juror number 50 answers questions from Judge Alison Nathan about his answers on the juror questionnaire.
Ghislaine Maxwell sits at the defense table with her lawyers as juror number 50 answers questions from Judge Alison Nathan about his answers on the juror questionnaire.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Scotty David revealed after the sentencing that he suffered from sexual assault when he was a child, calling into question his impartiality.
Scotty David revealed after the sentencing that he suffered from sexual assault when he was a child, calling into question his impartiality.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The jury receives their instructions before beginning deliberations during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.
The jury receives their instructions before beginning deliberations during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted on five of six counts in December, including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted on five of six counts in December, including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Ghislaine Maxwell hugs her attorney Bobbi Sternheim as they enter the courtroom.
Ghislaine Maxwell hugs her attorney Bobbi Sternheim as they enter the courtroom.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

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