Saturday, May 21

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers demand new trial because of juror

Undated photo obtained on December 8, 2021 from the New York justice system, showing Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey EpsteinHandout

Lawyers for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, found guilty of sex trafficking at the end of December, asked for a new trial on Wednesday on the grounds that one of the jurors would have influenced the rest of the jury by revealing that he himself had been the victim of sexual abuse during the deliberations.

In a legal document dated Wednesday, which AFP was able to consult, the lawyers rely in particular on an article from the Daily Mail, in which one of the jurors confides in having summoned his memories of a victim during the deliberations to clarify the rest of the jury. The defense sees there “irrefutable grounds for a new trial”.

After 40 hours of deliberation spread over five days, the jury declared on December 29 Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, guilty of five of the six charges against her, including the most serious, that of sex trafficking with her former companion, financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019.

No date has yet been set for sentencing, which is now at risk of being delayed.

The incident was taken seriously by the Manhattan Federal Attorney’s Office, which suggested that the court “conduct an investigation”, including whether the juror disclosed during the jury process, that is. that is, before the start of the hearings, to have been the victim of sexual violence in the past.

Information that could have led to a further examination in its selection, the defense can then argue its bias for such a case.

– “Hovered” –

Judge Alison Nathan responded later Wednesday, in another written submission, that the defense request would be given due consideration, without ruling on an inquiry. She set a date of January 19 for the defense to present its arguments, with a deadline of February 2 for the prosecution to respond.

In the Daily Mail article, the juror, a 35-year-old man, presented by his two first names Scotty David, explains that his experience has enabled him to enlighten other jurors that victims of sexual abuse do not do not always have a linear and exact memory of their trauma. The defense had attacked certain testimonies during the trial, noting inconsistencies in the accounts of the victims.

“According to the juror, this revelation influenced the deliberations and convinced the other members of the jury to convict Ms Maxwell,” write his defenders.

The juror said he did not remember if he was asked if he had been the victim of sexual abuse, saying he had “skimmed” the questionnaire that had been submitted to him, but he assures that he would have answered honestly if the question to him. had been asked.

In parallel with this trial, the American justice examines the civil lawsuits brought by one of the victims of the couple, Virginia Giuffre, against the British prince Andrew, whom she accuses of having raped her in 2001, when she had 17 years.

Prince Andrew, who dated the Epstein-Maxwell couple, has always vigorously denied these accusations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.