The defense of the former companion of Jeffrey Epstein argues that one of the jurors would have influenced the rest of the jury by revealing that he himself had been the victim of sexual abuse during the deliberations.
Lawyers for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, found guilty of sex trafficking in late December, called for a new trial on Wednesday (January 5th) on the grounds that one of the jurors allegedly influenced the rest of the jury by revealing that he himself had been the victim of sexual abuse. during the deliberations.
In a court document dated Wednesday, which AFP was able to consult, the lawyers rely in particular on an article by the DailyMail, in which one of the jurors confesses to having summoned his victim’s memories during the deliberations to enlighten the rest of the jury. The defense sees it “irrefutable grounds for a new trial”. After 40 hours of deliberations spread over five days, the jury declared Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, guilty on December 29 of five of the six charges against her, including the most serious, that of sex trafficking with her former companion, financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019. No date has yet been set for sentencing, which is now at risk of being delayed.
The juror says he “flew over” the questionnaire
The incident was taken seriously by the Manhattan Federal Prosecutor’s Office, which suggested the court “conduct an investigation”, in particular to find out whether the juror has indeed revealed during the process of constituting the jury, that is to say before the start of the hearings, that he has been the victim of sexual violence in the past. Information that could have led to a further examination in his selection, the defense then being able to argue his bias for such a case. Judge Alison Nathan replied later on Wednesday, in another written document, that the defense request would be well considered, without ruling on an investigation. She set a date of January 19 for the defense to present its case, with a deadline of February 2 for the prosecution to respond.
In parallel with this trial, American justice is examining the civil lawsuits brought by one of the couple’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, against British Prince Andrew, whom she accuses of having raped her in 2001, when she had 17 years. Prince Andrew, who dated the Epstein-Maxwell couple, has always vigorously denied these accusations.