Ghislaine Maxwell‘s lawyers have now claimed a second juror lied about their experience with sexual abuse before serving on her case, as they call for a new trial.
In a newly unsealed motion filed last month, attorneys for the disgraced socialite said that the juror ‘denied having been a victim of sexual abuse or assault.’
The jury member, who was not identified, is separate from ‘Juror No. 50, known as Scotty David, who sat on the panel of 12 and has admitted to not disclosing his own history of abuse on his jury questionnaire.
The court filing claims that Maxwell only had 10 ‘fair and impartial jurors’, adding bitterly: ‘Not the 12 guaranteed to her by the United States Constitution.’
The allegation is the latest twist in the controversy involving the jury who convicted Maxwell, 60, in December of recruiting and trafficking underage girls for the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Last week Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over the case, hauled David back to her court in New York to explain why he did not answers truthfully on three questions on his jury questionnaire.
Pictured: Scotty David, a juror in the trial of the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking Ghislaine Maxwell, walks on his way to the United States Courthouse in Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., March 8, 2022
Maxwell (pictured in a court sketch during her trial) was convicted in December of recruiting and trafficking underage girls for the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and is facing up to 65 years in jail at her sentencing in June
Maxwell’s lawyers have said the errors – which David claimed was an ‘honest mistake’ after he ‘flew through’ the question sheet – are grounds for a retrial.
The New York Times had previously reported that a second juror who served on the Maxwell case had also been a victim of sexual abuse.
However, this is the first time it has been suggested that the juror may not have disclosed that fact.
‘It appears that, at best, Ms. Maxwell had 10 fair and impartial jurors, not the 12 guaranteed her by the United States Constitution,’ defense attorneys stated in a footnote of the filing.
‘We know at least one other juror in addition to Juror No. 50 falsely denied having been a victim of sexual abuse or assault.’
Maxwell’s lawyers did not specify where in exactly in the questionnaire the juror lied in their motion, which was filed on February 9 but only unsealed after David’s hearing last week.
The filing added: ‘Although this court need not hold a hearing since the record already establishes that Ms. Maxwell was deprived of her Sixth Amendment right to trial by an impartial jury, any such hearing must also serve to identify this other juror.
‘Such a hearing likely would also show that Juror No. 50 was actually biased, in addition to being impliedly and inferably biased.’
In a newly unsealed court motion filed last month, Maxwell’s attorneys said they ‘know at least one other juror in addition to Juror No. 50 falsely denied having been a victim of sexual abuse or assault’
Judge Nathan did not grant the request and the issue of the second juror was not raised or identified at the hearing during which she grilled David for an hour about his actions.
During the March 8 hearing, David told the judge that he was distracted when he quickly filled out the form used to screen prospective jurors.
He said he ‘skimmed’ the questionnaire and incorrectly answered three questions, calling it ‘one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made.’
A chastened David, 35, an executive assistant, said that he ‘never thought’ he would get chosen to be on the jury and that he had been distracted during the process because he was thinking about a recent breakup with his ex partner.
David only agreed to testify after Judge Nathan gave him immunity under a deal with prosecutors because he initially threatened to refuse to answer questions.
Describing how he filled out the questionnaire, David said: ‘I had been sitting there for three hours. I didn’t have my phone, I didn’t have a book, I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs thinking about a break up that had just happened’, adding that it was a few weeks prior.’
David added that he did not ‘set out to be on this jury’, but admitted that he thought to himself: ‘If I’m going to serve jury duty it might as well be something interesting’.
After last week’s hearing Judge Nathan has requested briefing documents from Maxwell’s lawyers and prosecutors to determine whether to request a new trial.
Prosecutors acknowledged in court filings that David failed to disclose his own history as a victim of abuse but have argued that the error didn’t prevent Maxwell from receiving a fair trial.
Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, questioned the juror over the answers he submitted during the jury selection process, at a public court hearing on March 8 (pictured)
During the March 8 hearing, David told the judge that he was distracted when he quickly filled out the form used to screen prospective jurors
Prosecutors have argued that David, seen above leaving federal court, last week, made an ‘honest mistake’ when filling out the questionnaire
Legal experts have told DailyMail.com that there is a ‘very high bar’ that must be met for a new trial to be ordered.
Maxwell is due to be sentenced in June, assuming she does not get a second trial, and is facing up to 65 years in jail.
Maxwell’s lawyers argued that testimony during the post-trial hearing showed that because of his experiences, the juror saw himself as an advocate for the victims, not ‘a neutral arbiter of the facts.
Attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote scathingly that David’s testimony was ‘tortured and thoroughly unbelievable.’
She claimed his responses ‘alternated between inconsistent, implausible, and contradictory, and at all times lacked credibility’ adding they were ‘self-serving and not believable.’
The idea that nobody would find out about his abuse – as David claimed, citing the fact he didn’t use his last name to the media – was ‘utterly implausible.’
The defense attorney also pointed to the series of media interviews in which David revealed the abuse and how it influenced his deliberations.
The juror ‘reveled in the attention’ he received as a member of the jury and ‘was looking to soak up his 15 minutes of fame’ by talking to the media – including one interview with the DailyMail.com – Maxwell’s lawyers argued.
Sternheim wrote, ‘If there is one thing we learned from Juror 50 (David) at the hearing, it is this: he should never have been a member of this jury.’
She added that the abuse David suffered was ‘remarkably similar’ to that of Maxwell’s victims in the trial and would have formed the basis for a challenge during jury selection.
David ‘was not capable of setting his experiences aside and impartially deciding the case solely on the evidence at trial,’ she continued.
Maxwell, who is said to have been fiancier Jeffrey Epstein’s madam as well as his one-time girlfriend, is seen posing with the pedophile in evidence photos shown in court
‘Excusing Juror 50’s false answers because he believes his concealed history of sexual abuse did not affect his ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror does not satisfy the appearance of justice,’ the filing stated. ‘Only a new trial would.’
In their filing, prosecutors said that during his hour-long grilling by Judge Nathan, David ‘credibly explained how he came to make unintentional mistakes.’
‘It is crystal clear that the defendant received a fair trial,’ the prosecutors wrote.
‘Juror 50’s sworn testimony at the hearing made evident that he did not deliberately lie in completing the questionnaire, but that he instead made an honest mistake.’
They also praised the juror for being ‘candid’ and said that ‘jurors cannot be held to the standard of trained lawyers.’
Prosecutors said there was a good reason why David didn’t tick yes when asked in the questionnaire if he was the victim of a crime.
A bruised Ghislaine Maxwell is seen in this photo of her alleged mistreatment in prison
They wrote: ‘Lay persons often may not think of themselves as victims of a crime even where lawyers and judges would.’
Lawyers for both sides had until Tuesday to submit their arguments on the motion for a new trial. Maxwell’s sentencing is scheduled for June.
Earlier this month, the juror testified about his answers on the questionnaire after Nathan granted him immunity from prosecution.
He repeatedly expressed regret as the judge asked him dozens of questions about why he didn’t reveal repeated incidents of sexual abuse by two people at age 9 and 10.
‘This is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life,’ he told the judge.
‘I flew through the questions,’ he said, adding that he was ‘super distracted’ by nearby conversations and the movements of other prospective jurors who dropped off their completed questionnaires just a few feet from him.
All potential jurors in the case had been asked to fill out a screening form in early November that asked: ‘Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault? (This includes actual or attempted sexual assault or other unwanted sexual advance, including by a stranger, acquaintance, supervisor, teacher, or family member.)’
The juror checked ‘No.’ The juror said in the interviews he didn’t remember being asked that question, which was No. 48 on the form.
Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking and other charges after a monthlong trial that featured testimony from four women who said she played a role in setting them up for abuse by Epstein.
Epstein, 66, killed himself in August 2019 as he awaited trial at a federal jail in New York on related sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell says she’s innocent.
In interviews after the trial, including with DailyMail.com, David said that telling the other jury members about his own abuse was a turning point in their deliberations and the room fell ‘silent’.
The 35-year-old executive assistant explained to them that in his own case he could remember some details but not everything – a key point of contention in the case.
David said: ‘I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the (color) of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video.’
David, one of the 12 men and women who convicted Ghislaine Maxwell on five of the six counts of sex trafficking in December, revealed he had told fellow jurors he was a victim of sexual abuse during deliberations
In his interviews, David also described how in vivid detail serving on the jury of six men and six women which took 40 hours to convict Maxwell.
David said that at one point he ‘locked eyes’ with Maxwell from his third row seat in the jury box.
He said: ‘There were times when it felt like she was staring right at me and we would lock eyes…it didn’t feel real’.
David said that after hearing all the evidence he was convinced of Maxwell’s guilt.
He said: ‘After all I’ve learned, she’s just as guilty as Epstein. I don’t want to call her a monster, but a predator is the right word.
‘She knew what was happening. She knew what Epstein was doing and she allowed it to happen. She participated in getting these girls comfortable so that he could have his way with them’.
David said he went into the trial firmly believing that Maxwell was ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and viewing the victims with a skeptical eye.
But, he said, ‘After all I’ve learned, she’s just as guilty as Epstein. I don’t want to call her a monster, but a predator is the right word.
‘She knew what was happening. She knew what Epstein was doing and she allowed it to happen. She participated in getting these girls comfortable so that he could have his way with them.
‘And, to me, them returning repeatedly for the money has nothing to do with anything because these girls were minors, and it doesn’t matter what incentivized them. It matters what happened to them.’