Maxwell says juror was looking for “15 minutes of fame”; Prosecutors call process fair by Reuters


©Reuters. Scotty David, a juror in the trial of Jeffrey Epstein’s associate accused of sex trafficking Ghislaine Maxwell, arrives at the US Courthouse in the borough of Manhattan on March 8, 2022 in New York City, United States. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A juror in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial who failed to reveal before the trial that he was sexually abused as a child was seeking “15 minutes of fame,” the British celebrity’s lawyers argued on Monday, but prosecutors said , they got it due process.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of helping the late financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls. She has requested a new trial because of the false testimony of the jury.

In a hearing last week in Manhattan federal court, the juror – identified as juror #50 – said he erroneously answered “no” when asked before the trial if he had ever been a victim of sexual abuse or other crimes may be.

In a Monday evening letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, Maxwell attorney Bobbi Sternheim cited social media posts he made after the trial announcing that he had served on the jury as “strong evidence.” for his bias.

“Juror 50 didn’t want to escape the attention. He wanted to soak up his 15 minutes of fame,” Sternheim wrote.

Prosecutors argued in a letter Monday night that Maxwell could not prove that juror 50 was biased because during jury selection he maintained that he was fair and impartial and would decide the case based on the evidence.

The jury testified at last week’s hearing that he made a “big mistake” and answered incorrectly by rushing through the screening questionnaire. Sternheim said this explanation was not credible.

“Juror 50 doesn’t want to be responsible for the retrial of Ghislaine Maxwell, so he tried to provide innocuous explanations for his incorrect questionnaire answers,” Sternheim said.

Todd Spodek, a jury attorney, declined to comment.

Nathan has not yet ruled on Maxwell’s request for a new trial.

Experts told Reuters that cases in which convictions were overturned mostly involved juries deliberately omitting information to try to get on the panel. Last week, juror number 50 said he did not intentionally lie.

In a January interview with Reuters after the verdict, the juror identified himself by his first and middle names, Scotty David, and said he didn’t remember the question on the form but said he answered honestly.

Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail cell at age 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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https://www.investing.com/news/world-news/maxwell-says-juror-sought-15-minutes-of-fame-prosecutors-call-trial-fair-2785881 Maxwell says juror was looking for “15 minutes of fame”; Prosecutors call process fair by Reuters

Chris Barrese

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