Legal Representatives for Ghislaine Maxwell are calling for a new trial after a juror told media that his own experience of being sexually abused was utilized to persuade other jurors during deliberations.
The interviews given by the juror surprised both the prosecution and the defense and prompted Maxwell’s legal team to move for a mistrial.
Maxwell was found guilty last week of trafficking underage girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
The interviewed juror asked to be identified by his first and middle name.
The juror claims to have told fellow jurors that he had been abused as a child, much like Epstein’s victims.
Scotty David told reporters he had shared his experiences with jurors after some had questioned the recall ability of two of Maxwell’s accusers.
“I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the colour of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video. But I can’t remember all the details; there are some things that run together,” he told fellow jurors, according to a report from The Independent.
“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 said went on to say.
During his interview, he remarked that he had quickly moved through the juror questionnaire used before trial to establish whether prospective jurors could judge Maxwell reasonably. He said that he did not recall being asked about his personal experiences with past sexual abuse. Scotty David did add that he would have answered honestly.
The personal details that Scotty David provided in media interviews appear to match another of the Maxwell jurors. According to court transcripts of jury questioning in November, Scotty David was not questioned about his history of sexual abuse during voir dire. Had he indicated such history on his questionnaire, as others who answered affirmatively were, he likely would have been.
The legal representative for Maxwell issued a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who presided over Maxwell’s trial, saying there were “incontrovertible grounds” for a new trial.
The letter requesting the new trial was filed shortly after Wednesday’s interviews were made public. Prosecutors also said the reports “merit attention by the Court.”
Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison for her conviction.
Judge Nathan gave Maxwell’s lawyers until Jan. 19 to formally request a new trial and explain whether an inquiry is needed.
Maxwell is still facing a trial on two perjury counts for allegedly lying about her knowledge of Epstein’s behavior during a deposition for a civil case. The perjury trial has not yet been scheduled.