Juror who threw Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction into doubt will not answer judge’s questions

US

The juror who threw Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction into doubt will not answer a judge’s questions on the matter, his lawyer has said.

Known as Juror No 50, he failed to reveal before the trial he had been sexually abused as a child – something he shared with other jurors during his deliberations.

He will invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination at a hearing scheduled for 8 March, court papers have revealed.

Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein
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Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell prosecutors will drop perjury charges if there’s no retrial

It follows Maxwell’s 29 December conviction on five of the six counts she failed for helping disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls.

She faces up to 65 years in prison.

Christian Everdell, from Cohen and Gresser LLP, previously said: “The juror told reporters that he disclosed to the other members of the jury during deliberations that he was a victim of sexual abuse and further described his memory of those events.

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“According to the juror, his disclosure influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms Maxwell.”

Maxwell’s lawyers have demanded a new trial.

District Judge Alison Nathan has denied this request but said the juror’s statements provided “incontrovertible evidence” that he falsely responded on a screening questionnaire that asked whether he had been sexually abused, denying the defence a chance to question him for bias.

Juror No 50, who has identified himself to the media as Scotty David – who has asked to be identified by only his first and middle names – signed the papers under penalty of perjury, meaning he could face legal consequences if he is found to have lied.

However, he has said he “flew through” the questionnaire and does not recall being asked if he was a victim of sexual abuse.

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Prosecutors who won Maxwell’s conviction told Nathan they will seek an order to compel Juror No 50’s testimony.

In January, it was revealed a second juror had told The New York Times that they were a victim of sexual abuse as a child. They said they had discussed this during deliberations, and that it “had appeared to help shape the jury’s discussions”.

Paedophile Epstein died in his Manhattan prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.

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