Attorneys for convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell filed a motion for a retrial on Wednesday after a revelation from a member of the jury that he was abused as a child.
As this information did not come to light before Maxwell’s trial, which began in November, the defense could get exactly what it’s after and, theoretically, the longtime accused madame could ultimately walk free.
The juror accounted that he helped talk his peers into convicting the notorious British socialite, which Maxwell attorney Bobbi Sternheim cited in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan requesting a new trial.
Both prosecutors and the defense raised concerns about the juror’s revelation earlier this month, The Hill reported, with the state requesting that the judge open an investigation into the issue. Maxwell’s attorneys, however, are pressing for a whole new trial instead.
Maxwell was convicted last month on several charges relating to her one-time boyfriend, the late Jeffrey Epstein, and an underage sex trafficking scheme over which the two have long been accused of conducting.
Four accusers detailed how they were befriended, groomed and essentially served to Epstein to sexually abuse by the wealthy, well-connected Maxwell and a jury convicted her on five out of six federal sex trafficking charges.
Scotty David, as he was identified by media outlets he spoke with earlier this month, says that some of his fellow jurors weren’t sure of Maxwell’s guilt until he shared his own experience of childhood sexual abuse, which caused some of them to “come around.”
“When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse,” David told Reuters on Jan. 5.
He also said that coming to a unanimous verdict “wasn’t easy, to be honest.”
“There’s a room of 12 people and we all have to be on the same page and we all have to understand what’s going on,” he said. “And then we have to agree. So that’s partly why it took so long.”
According to the New York Post, David said he swayed the jury by explaining why he had waited until high school to tell anyone about the abuse he suffered when questions arose about why Maxwell’s accusers had also waited a long time to come forward.
Maxwell’s attorneys argued that the women, who testified as to events that happened in the ’90s when they were teenagers, had unreliable and exaggerated memories of their relationship with Maxwell and Epstein.
Jurors were asked if they or their family had a history of sexual abuse, but David said he didn’t remember being asked about this in the initial questionnaire, which he “flew through.”
His failure to disclose his childhood experiences, all the same, could be sufficient for Alison to grant the defense a retrial.
Can you even imagine if Maxwell managed to slip the hook at this point, after all this time?
She and Epstein have been accused of the twisted scheme for years. And call me a bit tin foil hatty, but considering all the shadowy circumstances surrounding their respective lives, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow.
The technicality could see Maxwell walk, a devastating ending to nearly two years’ effort in the pursuit of justice for their accusers.
Is it really going to come down to this?
We’ll just have to wait and see.
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