World

Maxwell formally requests new trial because of jury concerns

NEW YORK – Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers late Wednesday formally requested a new trial after lawyers for the British social media site became concerned that a juror might not disclose it before the trial. that he was sexually abused as a child.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on December 29 of five counts of sex trafficking and other counts of recruiting and evaluating underage girls to have sex with the late financier and offences. Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.

“Today, the defense attorney for Ghislaine Maxwell filed a petition asking her to proceed with a new trial,” her defense attorney, Bobbi C. Sternheim, said in a letter to the U.S. District Judge. United Alison J. Nathan.

In the letter, Sternheim requested that all submissions relating to “Jury 50” remain sealed until a verdict is reached.

Maxwell’s attorneys said this month there were “indisputable grounds” for a new trial after a juror, who asked to be identified by his first and middle name, Scotty David, told Reuters and other news media that he described being abused as a child on the jury. consideration.

The next day Maxwell’s attorney wrote to the judge seeking a new trial, and New York attorney Todd Spodek filed to appear in Maxwell’s case on behalf of Grand Jury 50. Spodek did not pay request for comment and did not disclose his client’s name in the Maxwell case.

There was concern that Scotty David had failed to disclose his abuse during the pre-trial examination.

Prospective jurors were asked in a questionnaire whether they had ever been victims of sexual abuse. Scotty David told Reuters he doesn’t remember the question, but he will answer honestly.

Prosecutors, who have asked U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan to conduct an investigation into the jurors’ statements, will have until February 2 to respond to Maxwell’s motion.

Legal experts told Reuters that Maxwell would not be guaranteed a new trial even if jurors did not disclose his abuse in the questionnaire, noting that jurors cases were dishonest resulting in a verdict that often involves jurors knowingly lying to get picked.

Nathan last week scheduled Maxwell’s sentencing hearing for June 28.

Epstein committed suicide in 2019 at the age of 66 in a Manhattan cell while awaiting trial on charges of sexual abuse.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Noeleen Walder, Robert Birsel)

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