MANHATTAN (CN) — One man's recent assertion that, despite being a victim of sexual abuse himself, he helped convict Ghislaine Maxwell of aiding Jeffrey Epstein's sex ring prompted the jailed former socialite on Wednesday to demand an immediate retrial.
While Maxwell will settle for a hearing if the court requires one, her attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca insisted in a heavily redacted letter Wednesday afternoon that, "based on this record alone, a new trial is required."
An evidentiary hearing to investigate the grounds for a mistrial is what the government requested earlier Wednesday after a juror from Maxwell's recent criminal trial told several news outlets that he was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
In an interview with The Independent, a juror identified as Scotty David, his first and middle names, is quoted as explaining why he found all of the victim accusers’ testimony to be credible, despite attacks on their stories and memories from Maxwell’s defense attorneys.
“I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the color of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video,” Scotty told the Independent of his own experience. “But I can’t remember all the details, there are some things that run together,” he said, adding that he shared these insights with fellow jurors during deliberations.
Scotty claimed that the Manhattan jury room went dead silent when he divulged his own personal story of sexual abuse after closing arguments in the case. He even credited his opening up about his own history of abuse as having helped other members of the jury to have faith in the women who testified against Maxwell.
The identities of the 12 jurors and five alternates were not released during Maxwell's monthlong trial in the Southern District of New York.
Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, was convicted just last week on five of six criminal counts in connection with recruiting and grooming teenage girls for sexual abuse by Epstein, the late pedophile financier she used to date.
Defense counsel for the erstwhile British socialite assured U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in the letter that the evidentiary hearing sought by prosecutors would be superfluous.
“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,” they wrote.
“Ms. Maxwell also suggests that all the deliberating jurors will need to be examined, not to impeach the verdict, but to evaluate the Juror’s conduct,” the attorneys for Maxwell added.
Scotty said other jurors questioned why some of Epstein and Maxwell’s victims waited years to come forward with their accusations, but he had a answer for that, too: “I didn’t disclose my abuse until I was in high school,” he said.
In a separate interview with The Daily Mail, the juror said he could not recall being asked on the 50-item jury questionnaire used to select the jury whether he himself was a victim of sexual abuse or if he was a relative or friend of such a victim.
In light of the issues raised on Wednesday, Judge Nathan ordered Maxwell’s defense to file their motion for trial in two weeks, with a government response by Feb. 2, 2022.
The juror did not immediately respond to a request from Courthouse News for comment on Wednesday evening.
Maxwell pleaded not guilty to facilitating and participating in Epstein’s abuse of teenage girls during a 10-year period from around 1994 to 2004. These charges named Maxwell as a direct participant in and facilitator of a sex ring wherein teenage girls were induced to give Epstein "massages" that turned into recurring and escalating sexual episodes, including masturbation, penetrative sex and “orgies” with other adults.
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