No new trial for Ghislaine Maxwell despite juror’s false statement By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell, an aide of Jeffrey Epstein, sits as the guilty verdict in her sexual abuse trial is read in a courtroom sketch in New York City, US December 29, 2021. Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

by luke cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ghislaine Maxwell on Friday lost her bid to overturn her US sex trafficking conviction, even after a juror made a false statement before trial that she was sexually assaulted. had not been.

U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan said the juror, a person known in court papers as juror 50, testified truthfully at a hearing last month, when Maxwell’s lawyers said on a pre-trial questionnaire Their false answers justify giving a new test.

“His failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was extremely unfortunate, but not intentional,” Nathan wrote. “The court further concluded that juror 50 held no prejudice to the defendant and could act as an impartial and impartial juror.”

Juror’s attorney Todd Spodek said in a statement, “Juror 50 does not consider himself a victim and does not let his past define him.” “He heard the evidence and was fair and impartial. This is what justice is needed, not more than that.”

Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of helping the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls.

He pleaded not guilty, saying he was being made a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes because he was no longer alive. His sentence has been fixed on June 28.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan prison cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell’s lawsuit represented a presumption that Epstein, a globetrotting investor who counted elite politicians and business leaders among his social peers, never was.

It was one of the most high-profile cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse by famous and powerful people.

Maxwell faced up to 65 years in prison after being found guilty on five of the six counts. His lawyers have vowed to appeal the verdict.

no intentional lies

Juror 50 checked “no” when asked in a pretrial screening questionnaire whether he had been the victim of sexual abuse.

But after the trial ended, he said in media interviews that he had discussed sexual abuse as a child during jury deliberations, and told Reuters he did not remember being asked about it on a questionnaire.

Juror 50, who identified himself with his first and middle name Scotty David, said he did this to illustrate how the recollections of Maxwell’s accusers may not have been accurate.

At the March 8 hearing, he said he ran through the questionnaire, saying he was not a victim of sexual abuse and did not knowingly lie to appear on the panel.

Maxwell’s lawyers said that if he had answered honestly they would have struck off the juror from the panel, arguing that his false statement denied Maxwell the right to a fair trial.

But Nathan said he once oversaw a murder trial, where a jury member whose family member was murdered was allowed to panel.

The judge was elevated to federal appeals court in Manhattan this week but has retained jurisdiction over Maxwell’s case.

At Maxwell’s trial in November and December, four women testified that the daughter of British media baron Robert Maxwell recruited and groomed them when they were teenagers to be abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell’s lawyers tried to undermine those accusing him by claiming that they were motivated by money to implicate Maxwell and that his memories were flawed.

Judge Nathan also rejected a request by Maxwell’s lawyers on Friday to delay their decision for a new trial until the Paramount+ streaming service aired a documentary about Maxwell interviewing juror 50. Was.

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