Maxwell Verdict Is Clouded After Juror’s Disclosure of Past Sexual Abuse

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Ghislaine Maxwell is convicted of sex trafficking and other charges for recruiting and luring underage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004 on Dec. 29. Epstein is a financier and convicted sex offender who killed himself in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting his sex trafficking trial.

 

In interviews published on Tuesday and Wednesday by The Independent and the Daily Mail, one juror described an instant during the deliberations when he told fellow jurors in Maxwell’s trial that, like a number of the victims of the late financier Epstein. One of the victims complained had been sexually abused as a toddler. Thus, the fellow juror convinced other jurors that a victim’s imperfect memory of sexual abuse doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

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“I know what happened once I was sexually abused. I remember the color of the carpet, the walls. a number of it is replayed sort of a video,” he said he told the jury, consistent with The Independent. “But I can’t remember all the small print, there are some things that run together.”

Nathan’s decision on whether a brand-new trial is warranted could ride how the juror tried and true questions during jury selection about his experiences with a sex offense, which legal experts said was a key question that defense lawyers were observing to get rid of potentially biased jurors. The office of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, which prosecuted Maxwell, declined to comment.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who presided over Maxwell’s trial, the lawyer, Christian Everdell, said there have been “incontrovertible grounds” for Maxwell to urge a replacement trial, to serve the interest of justice.

He called the matter “an issue of pressing importance,” saying disclosures by the juror “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell.” Everdell filed the letter shortly after asking Nathan to open an inquiry into the juror’s statements.

The lawyers said during a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan that “based on undisputed, publicly available information, the Court can and will order a reschedule for the trial with none evidentiary hearing.” The judge late Wednesday set a schedule for the defense to fire a replacement trial, saying it should request by Jan. 19, with prosecutors replying by Feb. 2.

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