Share
News

Judge Makes Final Decision on Ghislaine Maxwell's Sex Trafficking Trial

Share

A U.S. judge refused to throw out Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction Friday, despite a juror’s failure to disclose before the trial began that he’d been a victim of childhood sexual abuse.

Maxwell, a British socialite, was convicted in December of helping millionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse several teenage girls.

U.S. Judge Alison J. Nathan declined to order a new trial weeks after questioning the juror under oath in a New York courtroom about why he failed to disclose his personal history as an abuse survivor on a questionnaire during the jury selection process.

The juror had said he “skimmed way too fast” through the questionnaire and did not intentionally give the wrong answer to a question about sex abuse.

“I didn’t lie in order to get on this jury,” he said.

Trending:
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Labeled 'Delusional'; 'Irritated' About Not Being Wealthier than Other UK Celebs: Book

In her opinion, Nathan said the juror’s failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was highly unfortunate, but not deliberate.

The judge also concluded the juror “harbored no bias toward the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror.”

Had the juror answered the questions correctly, Maxwell’s lawyers had said they potentially could have objected to the man’s presence on the jury on the grounds that he might not be fair to a person accused of a similar crime.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment Friday. Messages were left with Maxwell’s attorneys.

Do you think the judge made the right decision?

Maxwell, 60, was convicted of sex trafficking and other charges after a monthlong trial that featured testimony from four women who said she played a role in setting them up for abuse by Epstein.

Epstein killed himself in August 2019 as he awaited trial at a federal jail in New York on related sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell says she’s innocent.

After the trial’s conclusion, the juror, identified in court papers only as Juror No. 50, gave interviews with several media outlets describing deliberations, and disclosing that he’d been abused as a child.

He said he persuaded some fellow jurors that a victim’s imperfect memory of abuse doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Related:
Watch: Rob Schneider Goes Off on 'Fraud' Will Smith for Oscars Slap During Controversial Rant

Potential jurors in the case had been were required to fill out a 50-page questionnaire including a question that asked: “Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?”

The juror checked “No.”

The juror said in one of the interviews that he didn’t remember being asked that question, which was No. 48 on the form.

Defense lawyers for Maxwell asked the judge to immediately order a new trial, but she said she could not do so without questioning the juror.

After Nathan questioned the juror in early March, lawyers on both sides submitted written arguments. Prosecutors said the juror made an “honest mistake” and that it was “crystal clear” that Maxwell received a fair trial.

Maxwell’s lawyers 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,” they argued. “Only a new trial would.”

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation