Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged former madam of the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has officially filed a motion to be given a new trial after a juror revealed that he had not told the court that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
The Hill reported that Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in which she argued that a new trial was necessary because of a juror who has been identified as Scotty David.
After Maxwell was convicted on five out of six charges related to her allegedly grooming young girls for sex with Epstein, and sometimes participating in the abuse herself last month, David told the media that he used his history as a victim of sexual abuse to convince his fellow jurors to “come around” on the issue of Epstein victims potentially having imperfect recalls.
“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,” David said.
Potential jurors had been given a questionnaire in which they were asked they or someone in their family had experienced past sexual abuse, and their answers impacted their impartiality. David told reporters that he did not remember being asked this, explaining that he “flew through” the questionnaire.
Prosecutors have issued a request to Nathan that an investigation be launched into this. They have also agreed to drop two perjury charges against Maxwell, should the judge decide to let her conviction stand, according to NBC News.
“The Government proposes that the Court schedule a hearing in approximately one month, along with an appropriate schedule for pre-hearing briefing regarding the applicable law and the scope of the hearing,” they said, adding that dismissing the perjury charges would be in line with the victims’ “significant interests in bringing closure to this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again.”
Maxwell’s lawyers, however, have argued that a simple investigation is not enough, and that their client deserves a new trial entirely.
“The government’s request for a hearing is premature because based on undisputed, publicly available information, the Court can and should order a new trial without any evidentiary hearing,” the attorneys told the judge.
At the time of this writing, Maxwell is due to be sentenced on January 28, and she is potentially facing decades behind bars. Epstein allegedly committed suicide in prison back in August of 2019 while awaiting trial on various sex crime charges of his own.