Scotty David, one of the jurors that convicted Ghislaine Maxwell late last month, revealed this week that he shared his experience of being sexually abused as a child to convince other jurors of Maxwell’s guilt.
Now, Maxwell’s lawyers are pushing for a new trial, claiming that David’s past made him ineligible to fairly judge the accused predator.
The Maxwell juror has said he doesn’t remember if he disclosed his history of abuse during the jury selection process, but added that it didn’t affect his perception of the case. He’s also retained the services of famed defense lawyer Todd Spodek, according to reports.
Scotty David Makes Post-Trial Confession
The Maxwell juror — who is being identified only by his first and middle names — was asked during screening whether he or any family member or close friend had been the victim of sexual abuse as a child. The question was meant to filter out potential jurors who may have had some bias against accused predators like Maxwell.
While David told the Daily Mail he doesn’t remember being asked that question, and that he believes he answered “honestly,” he admitted that he “flew through” the screening questionnaire.
“No they don’t ask your sexual abuse history. They didn’t ask it in the questionnaire,” he originally told the outlet.
When reporters pointed out that the question was included, David said he “would have definitely marked, ‘Yes.’”
“But I honestly don’t remember the question,” he added.
David also said that he later used his experience as a sexual abuse victim to convince other jurors of Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilt.
The 60-year-old was then convicted on five out of six charges related to her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking scheme.
In addition to David, another, unnamed juror told The New York Times on Wednesday that that person had also been victimized as a minor. That juror’s personal experiences also reportedly guided deliberations before Maxwell was convicted on Dec. 29.
Now, the office of the U.S. Attorney General has opened an investigation into David, identified as “juror number 50” in court documents. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors appointed legal counsel for David — Todd Spodek, the criminal defense lawyer who famously represented phony heiress and con woman Anna Sorokin.
In addition to a potential new trial for Maxwell, David could now face perjury charges, according to lawyer Neama Rahmani.
‘This is why prosecutors cringe when jurors talk to the media after a guilty verdict,” she told the BBC. “Because jurors may say something that may overturn the conviction.”
Maxwell Lawyers Move for Mistrial
The revelations have led Maxwell’s lawyers to petition for a mistrial. They argue that, whether intentional or accidentally, any omissions of fact by any juror make their client’s conviction illegitimate.
“The Supreme Court has held that to be entitled to a new trial, ‘a party must first demonstrate that a juror failed to answer honestly a material question on voir dire, and then further show that a correct response would have provided a valid basis for a challenge for cause,’” Maxwell’s defense team wrote.
“This standard applies even if the juror’s conduct was merely inadvertent and not intentional,” the attorneys continued.
“Ms. Maxwell […] intends to request a new trial under Rule 33 because the ‘interest of justice so requires.’”
Maxwell’s lawyers had previously said they had “incontrovertible” evidence of a mistrial, even before the Scotty David story broke earlier this week. It’s likely they were referring to alleged juror omissions like that of David, but they have not confirmed this.