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Will Ghislaine Maxwell Get a Retrial?

Juror interviews throw a wrench in the works.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former lover and employee of Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted on five charges related to sex trafficking on Dec. 29, 2021. She faces up to 65 years in prison, but her attorneys now think there could be a way to get a retrial after it was discovered that at least one juror may not have been truthful about his personal background.

Scotty David (reportedly his first and middle name), 35, gave several interviews after the trial, explaining his personal experience. During jury deliberation, he said some of the jurors doubted the credibility of victims Jane and Carolyn (pseudonyms) who claimed Maxwell had groomed them for sex with Epstein when they were teenagers.

In interviews with Reuters and The Independent, he admitted he told his fellow jurors about his sex abuse background, and described how not every aspect of the incidents are recorded in the memory. “When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse.”

Scotty David swears he did not see any questions asking if he had been a victim of sexual abuse, but he also admitted he “flew through” the juror questionnaire. According to NBC News, a copy of the inquiry form was made public, and one item asks: “Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?” It is not yet known how he answered the question.

A Chance for the Defense?

Maxwell’s defense attorneys say the juror’s candid series of interviews with media “presents incontrovertible grounds for a new trial.” However, as Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. explained:

“A court examining the issue will have to decide if the juror was candid with the court, would the juror still have been seated? The answer to that question controls the mistrial decision. If they would have been on the jury anyway, then no mistrial. Maxwell’s defense is right to pursue it, but on the facts as presented, this is a longshot.”

NBC News legal expert Danny Cevallos had a similar opinion. He said:

“A defendant who asks for a new trial based on allegations of juror misconduct faces a very high hurdle. Even where a juror deliberately omitted or misstated facts during voir dire, a new trial will not be granted unless the juror’s nondisclosure concealed some bias or partiality that would have sustained a for-cause challenge.”

Compounding the issue, according to the defense team, there is a second juror who described having been sexually abused as a child in an interview with The New York Times. The person chose to remain anonymous but claimed to have discussed his or her own experience during deliberations and that the insight appeared to have helped jury members to form a decision.

Polo Ralph Lauren host Victories of Athlete Ally

(Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

“Based on undisputed, publicly available information, the Court can and should order a new trial without any evidentiary hearing,” Maxwell’s attorneys wrote to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan. The judge responded by asking for a defense motion for a new trial by Jan. 19. She also wants the government to provide a response by Feb. 2, and then a defense reply a week later.

Prosecutors Agree?

Federal prosecutors asked Judge Nathan in their own letter to hold a hearing in a month to look into Scotty David’s comments to the press, saying the reports “merit attention by the court.” “The Government respectfully submits that any juror investigation should be conducted exclusively under the supervision of the Court,” the prosecutors wrote.

Meanwhile, the juror has retained the services of lawyer Todd Spodek, who has a reputation for defending high-profile cases. Spodek filed notice on Jan. 5, confirming he would “appear in this case as counsel for JURY NUMBER 50.” The lawyer’s past clients include the “fake heiress” Anna Sorokin, who pretended to be part of a wealthy European family to steal from banks, and Alec Baldwin’s stalker, Genevieve Sabourin.

~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.

Read More From Kelli Ballard

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