Ghislaine Maxwell‘s lawyers have said her right to a fair trial was ‘violated’ by a juror who admitted to DailyMail.com that he described his own sexual abuse to the jury during deliberation.
They added that the juror, identified by his first and middle names Scotty David, corrupted the jury selection process in which the judge and attorneys question potential jurors to ascertain whether they can be impartial.
The lawyers wrote to Judge Alison Nathan in a letter on Tuesday to argue their motion for a new trial should remain sealed.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted of facilitating the sexual abuse of minors by her former partner, Jeffrey Epstein, on December 29. She faces 65 years in prison, meaning she could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
Maxwell was found guilty on five of six counts of sex trafficking – a spectacular downfall for the former London society girl who later moved into the highest circles of New York’s social scene. Pictured: Maxwell with Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell could spend the rest of her life behind bars after a jury convicted her of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein last month
She was found guilty on five of six counts of sex trafficking – a spectacular downfall for the former London society girl who later moved into the highest circles of New York’s social scene.
Juror Scotty David claimed he had been sexually abused as a child in a number of press interviews which led Maxwell’s attorneys to demand a new trial.
Maxwell’s lawyers last week demanded a new trial after juror Scotty David, 35, revealed he had helped convict the former socialite by telling fellow jury members about his experience of sexual abuse
He first told DailyMail.com that he had not revealed this history during jury selection because it had not been asked on the juror questionnaire.
When it was pointed out that question 48 of the 50 asked exactly that question, he then claimed that he did not remember it but had answered all questions ‘honestly.’
He told other outlets that he, ‘flew through’ the questionnaire.
He also revealed that a second juror had shared their own story of sexual abuse, a claim later verified by the juror who wished to remain anonymous.
He has claimed he can’t recall how he answered questions about previous sex abuse that were given to potential jurors before the trial.
He told Reuters that he ‘flew through’ the questionnaire, but was sure that he answered the question truthfully.
DailyMail.com has already established that whatever David answered on the questionnaire it did not elicit any follow up questions at the interview or ‘voir dire’ stage of jury selection.
David told DailyMail.com, ‘It was never raised. We went in front of the judge and there were all the lawyers in the room and that’s where they asked me some questions. They asked me what I do, what I like to do for fun and if I can be fair and impartial. It was literally like 30 seconds long and then I was out of the room.’
Conversely when he shared his story in the jury room on day three of deliberations, he recalled ‘the room went silent.’
According to David his own sharing led a second juror to share their story. His experience, he said, allowed him to better understand the victims who testified and parlay that into a better understanding in jurors who were not convinced of the victims’ credibility.
Maxwell’s lawyers argue that unsealing their motion for a retrial would give Scotty David an ‘improper’ view of information he ‘should never have’ including his ‘exact’ questionnaire responses.
Maxwell’s attorneys told the Mail on Sunday that they believe they found a third juror who lied about being abused, after a second unidentified juror told The New York Times that they, too, had been abused as a child.
The first juror to reveal their sexual abuse, David, said he couldn’t remember how he answered a pre-trial question about his own sexual abuse history – casting doubt on the validity of Maxwell’s conviction – and he has asked the judge to see his answers.
He has since retained lawyer Todd Spodek, who asked the court to provide the questionnaire, according to the New York Daily News. He could face perjury charges if he’s found to have intentionally lied.
David, 35, has claimed that he used his experience being sexually assaulted to influence other jurors, saying: ‘When I shared that, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse.’
But video published by DailyMail.com revealed that David couldn’t remember if the pre-trial questionnaire asked about sexual abuse history – which it did.
David told DailyMail.com that he was ‘quite excited’ to be selected for jury duty and that when he discovered that he had been called for selection for the Maxwell trial he was, ‘shocked.’
He said, ‘I thought this is incredible. If I get selected for this that would be an honor.’
He added, ‘I honestly didn’t know much about her or Jeffery Epstein going into it. I didn’t know who Jeffery Epstein was until he died.’
Maxwell, who is said to have been Epstein’s madam as well as his one-time girlfriend, is seen posing with the pedophile in evidence photos shown in court
Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three counts of conspiracy. She was found not guilty of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Maxwell was convicted after a month-long trial in which prosecutors maintained that she recruited and groomed teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 2004.
Maxwell once had a romantic relationship with Epstein, but later became his employee at his five residences, including a Manhattan mansion and a large estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein took his own life at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 as he awaited a trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell’s lawyers argued at trial that she was made into a scapegoat by federal prosecutors after his death.