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Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers call for new trial after juror’s sexual abuse claim By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell sits as the guilty verdict in her sex abuse trial is read in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 29, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg/File Photo

By Luc Cohen and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted last week of aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuses, deserves a new trial, her lawyer said on Wednesday after a juror told media including Reuters that he had been a victim of sexual abuse.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who presided over Maxwell’s trial, the lawyer Christian Everdell said there were “incontrovertible grounds” for Maxwell to get a new trial, to serve the interest of justice.

Everdell called the matter “an issue of pressing importance” because disclosures by the juror, who asked to be identified only by his first and middle names, Scotty David, “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell.”

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The office of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, which prosecuted Maxwell, declined to comment.

Everdell filed the letter shortly after prosecutors who won the British socialite’s conviction for recruiting underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse asked Nathan to open an inquiry into the juror’s statements.

Scotty David told Reuters https://www.reuters.com/article/people-ghislaine-maxwell/some-ghislaine-maxwell-jurors-initially-doubted-accusers-juror-says-idINL1N2TL076 he “flew through” the juror questionnaire used before trial to determine whether prospective jurors could judge Maxwell fairly.

He said he also did not recall being asked about his experiences with sexual abuse, and that he would have answered honestly.

Prosecutors said the juror’s statements to the media “merit attention” by the court, and asked that a hearing be scheduled about one month from now.

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They also said court staff should ask the juror whether he wants a lawyer. Media cited by prosecutors include Reuters, the Daily Mail and The Independent.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on Dec. 29 of sex trafficking and other charges for recruiting and grooming underage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.

She faces up to 65 years in prison, and had been expected to appeal her conviction, which followed a monthlong trial.

Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

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