Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys called for a mistrial after two jurors revealed they were victims of sexual abuse and discussed their experiences during jury deliberations.
On December 29, Maxwell was convicted of five counts, including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of an individual under 18. She faces up to 65 years in prison for her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s serial abuse of girls, some as young as 14.
Scotty David (his first and middle names), 35, told the Daily Mail and the Independent that he detailed his experience of being sexually abused as a child when other jurors questioned the credibility of two witnesses who testified that Maxwell set them up with Epstein as teenagers.
“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,” he said.
An unnamed second juror told the New York Times they were sexually abused as a child and that their story also appeared to help sway the jury’s discussions.
The revelations led Maxwell’s lawyers to call for a mistrial. Prosecutors also asked U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan to investigate the juror’s remarks.
“Assuming the accuracy of the reporting, the juror asserted that he ‘flew through’ the prospective juror questionnaire and does not recall being asked whether he had been a victim of sexual abuse, but stated that ‘he would have answered honestly’. Based on the foregoing, the government believes the court should conduct an inquiry,” the prosecutors wrote.
Nathan said the defense should make a formal request for a mistrial by January 19 and gave prosecutors until February 2 to respond.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan wrote a letter to Nathan asking her to conduct an inquiry into the juror’s description of being a victim of sexual abuse and his responses to the questionnaire, Reuters reported.
“While the court instructed jurors that they were free to discuss their jury service with anyone of their choosing, some of the statements, as related in the media, merit attention by the court,” the letter read.
Legal experts say the situation does not bode well for the prosecution and that a new trial is inevitable.
“It’s a prosecutor’s worst nightmare,” Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, told the Washington Examiner. “As a prosecutor, you absolutely hate it when the jurors talk to the media after a guilty verdict because they can always say something improper that can cause problems. But this juror, not only did he say something improper, he established prejudice.”
“Immediately, [prosecutors] knew there was a problem, and then Judge Alison Nathan appointed an attorney for the juror, and that means she believes he may have committed a crime, perjury,” Rahmani said.
“The government will 100% retry the case,” he added. “They have to. I don’t expect her to be acquitted under any circumstances.”
Scotty David hired a well-known lawyer, Todd Spodek, who represented Anna Sorkin, who once posed as an heiress to infiltrate Manhattan’s elite social society.
Stranger still, it’s come to light that Scotty David works as an executive assistant for Carlyle Group Inc., a private equity giant.