Judge issues ruling on Ghislaine Maxwell new trial motion after hearing with controversial juror

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A federal judge has upheld convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction despite a juror having been found to have misportrayed himself during the pre-trial jury selection process.

Judge Alison J. Nathan ruled that while juror Scotty David’s failure to disclose his status as a victim of childhood sexual abuse was “highly unfortunate,” it clearly wasn’t “deliberate,” as reported by the BBC.

“His failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was highly unfortunate, but not deliberate. The court further concludes that juror 50 harbored no bias toward the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror,” the judge reportedly said.

Indeed, David recently admitted under oath that when he’d been filling out his screen questionnaire, he “flew through” it because he was “super-distracted” by the events transpiring around him.

“I didn’t lie in order to get on this jury,” he’d added, according to the Associated Press.

(Source: Law & Crime)

David’s questionnaire answer became an issue after Maxwell’s attorneys noticed that his answer didn’t jibe with his public rhetoric.

In an early January interview with several British news outlets, David “described a moment during the deliberations when he told fellow jurors in Maxwell’s trial that, like some of the victims of the late financier Epstein, he had been sexually abused as a child,” as noted by the AP.

“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. But I can’t remember all the details, there are some things that run together,” he said in the interview, describing what he’d told the jury.

He also said that he’d also “convinced other jurors that a victim’s imperfect memory of sex abuse doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

When Maxwell’s attorneys learned of the interview, they submitted a letter to the judge asserting that “based on undisputed, publicly information information, the Court can and should order a new trial without any evidenciary hearing.”

But Judge Nathan pushed back, arguing that she first needed to question David. That questioning happened in early March.

Afterward, the prosecution tried to downplay the whole incident as an “honest mistake.” The defense staunchly disagreed.

“Excusing Juror 50’s false answers because he believes his concealed history of sexual abuse did not affect his ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror does not satisfy the appearance of justice. Only a new trial would,” they argued.

Nathan evidently sided with the prosecution, much to the chagrin of some legal analysts who argue that allowing Maxwell’s verdict to stand despite David’s violation “makes a mockery of the jury system.”

Even some members of the public — some of them victims of childhood sexual abuse themselves — agree, arguing that this decision creates a “dangerous precedent.”


Notice what some of the critics wrote about an appellate court reversing the decision. That, in fact, is likely exactly what Maxwell’s attorneys are hoping for.

None of this is to say that everybody is bothered by the judge’s decision. Just search for “Ghislaine” on Twitter and you’ll encounter an overwhelming amount of support for Nathan, with the argument being that Maxwell wholeheartedly deserves her fate.


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