Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Judge limits questioning

NEW YORK – An investigation into jury misconduct at the British social media sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial will be limited to his responses to two answers. answers on a lengthy questionnaire during jury selection to prevent “intrusive fishing expeditions” by defense attorneys, a judge said in an opinion released on Friday .

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan said in the partially redacted decision on Thursday that she will question a grand jury on March 8 about his answers to two questions in 50-question questionnaire to find out why he said he had never been a victim of sexual abuse or a victim of crime even though he revealed after the trial that he get.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in late December of sex trafficking and other charges with allegations that she recruited teenage girls between 1994 and 2004 for financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse sex. She is awaiting sentencing date in June. Epstein, 66, committed suicide in Manhattan federal prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Jurors cast doubt on Maxwell’s verdict when he told news outlets in January that he had revealed to jurors during a week-long deliberation that he was an abuse victim. child molestation and convince other jurors that a victim’s imperfect memory of sexual abuse doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Nathan denied Maxwell’s request for an immediate new trial or for the defense to gather evidence such as communications obtained by jurors through social media or via email. with alleged victims or witnesses, other jurors or media representatives. They are also looking for evidence of payments he may have received for any interviews or information he gave about his jury service.

“The court denied these claims as objectionable, intrusive, unwarranted and a fishing expedition,” the judge wrote.

She said it was “inappropriate” for Maxwell’s attorneys to subpoena social media companies for records.

“The Court concluded that Respondent had failed to demonstrate that any of the pre-hearing findings were appropriate and the request to participate in an intrusive fishing expedition was denied,” Nathan said.

Maxwell’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nathan cited previous cases and rulings by appellate courts to indicate that investigating the conduct of a juror identified in the documents as only “Grand Jury 50” must be limited. term and other jurors will not be questioned.

But she also wrote that his “clear, direct statements to many media” provide substantial and irrefutable evidence that an untrue statement – a false statement – has occurred. out in the jury selection process.

“To be clear, the incorrect possibility is not that someone with a history of sexual abuse may have served on a jury. Rather, the possibility of not answering truthfully the questions during the selection process. The jury’s selection requested that important information for her to speak.

She said her decision, announced Thursday, to ask for a notarized hearing where she would question the juror was necessary because he checked the “No” box as his answer to the question. 48.

The question is: Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual assault? (This includes actual or attempted sexual assault or other unwanted sexual behavior, including by a stranger, acquaintance, supervisor, teacher or family member.)

Nathan said she will also question the juror about why he ticked “No” to Question 25, which asks: Have you, or any of your relatives or close friends, been victim of crime yet?

She said the purpose of her questions to the jury would be to determine if he committed any wrongdoing before a new trial.

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