Maxwell's Defence May File for Mistrial After Juror Admits to Suffering Sexual Abuse as Child
16:44 GMT 05.01.2022 (Updated: 16:45 GMT 05.01.2022)
The juror said he used his traumatic past experience to convince other members of the jury that the women in the case against Ghislaine Maxwell were telling the truth in their testimonies.
Recent revelations of a juror in the Ghislaine Maxwell case, known only by his first and middle name Scotty David, may prove to be enough for her defence to file a mistrial and render her conviction on five counts, including for sex trafficking of a minor, void, former federal prosecutor in New York Moira Penza suggested in an interview with The Telegraph.
Scotty David said in a recent interview that he suffered sexual abuse as a child. He further noted that he used his own grim experience not only to understand the victims in Maxwell's case better, but also to convince other members of the jury that there are no inconsistencies in their testimonies.
David specifically tried to alleviate other jurors' concerns as to why the women came forward with their accusations only years later. He noted that he himself did not disclose the abuse against him until he was in high school.
Moira Penza said that these revelations might serve as grounds for filing a mistrial in Maxwell's case if David lied in the questionnaire all juror candidates had to fill out ahead of the selection process.
The questionnaire namely contains a question "Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?" and whether it could affect their judgement in the case. One juror was dismissed after informing the court she reported an alleged sexual abuse against her sister in school.
"I certainly hope the juror disclosed this fully on his questionnaire. A little strange the defence didn’t strike him. In the first instance it would likely form the basis for a motion to Judge [Alison] Nathan for a new trial", Penza told The Telegraph.
Maxwell's defence could veto David during the selection process due to his past experience with child abuse – the central topic in the socialite's case. If Scotty David failed to declare this experience, a judge could declare a mistrial, thus rendering Maxwell's conviction void and likely leading to a new trial.
Ghislaine Maxwell, the only known associate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted on 29 December 2021 on charges of sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, as well as three related counts of conspiracy, but was acquitted on one count of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. She is facing several decades in prison on these charges. Her defence has already filed an appeal, but it is unknown on what grounds it will be based.
Maxwell is also facing trial for two charges of lying under oath in the case against Epstein, who did not live to see the end of his trial, hanging himself in a prison cell in 2019.