Ghislaine Maxwell’s jury admits ‘mistake’ in not disclosing sexual abuse

Judge Alison Nathan swears juror number 50 as Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell listens to a courtroom sketch on March 8, 2022 in New York City, United States. Maxwell was convicted on December 29 on five of the six charges she faced for helping late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls.REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Judge Alison Nathan swore in jury number 50 as Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell listens in a courtroom sketch in New York City (Image: Reuters)

A juror in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex abuse trial who failed to disclose that he was sexually abused as a child testified Tuesday that he made an “accidental error” in completing his questionnaire form for the jury, an admission that undermined her conviction could cancel.

During the pretrial questionnaire, the jury stated that he was not a victim of sexual abuse. But on Tuesday he testified under oath that he was sexually abused by his stepbrother and boyfriend when he was nine or 10 years old.

The juror, posing as Scotty David, said he was careless with the questionnaire because he never thought he would be chosen to serve on the jury with such a large pool of potential jurors in the courthouse, he said on Tuesday.

David explained to the court why he failed to report his past experiences in the questionnaire as an “unintentional error”.

Juror No. 50, right, from the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, leaves federal court in New York after testifying that he made a

Juror #50, right, from Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, leaves federal court in New York after testifying he made a “mistake” (Image: AP)

“That’s one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life,” he said, noting that he “scanned through” the document and was “super distracted” by everything that was going on around him in the jury room.

Maxwell was convicted of child sex trafficking and four other charges stemming from her role in assisting Jeffrey Epstein in abusing young girls between 1994 and 2004. At her sentencing, which is expected later this year, she could face up to 65 years in prison unless she is retried because the jury failed to disclose her story.

Following Maxwell’s conviction in December, David told reporters that he had shared his own experiences of sexual abuse with fellow jurors after some questioned the memories of two of Maxwell’s accusers.

The jury's admission prompted Maxwell's attorneys to call for a retrial

The jury’s admission has prompted Maxwell’s lawyers to call for a retrial (Image: Reuters)

His admission immediately prompted Maxwell’s attorneys to call for a retrial, claiming that he made their experience more sympathetic to their accusers and prevented them from getting a fair trial.

Judge Alison Nathan questioned David for about an hour on Tuesday. The parties will file court filings next week, and Nathan will make a decision thereafter.

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Justin Scacco

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