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Maxwell’s lawyers want another trial after juror’s revelations

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Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, found guilty of sex trafficking at the end of December 2021, in New York, evoke “irrefutable grounds [en faveur] of a new trial”. In a court document dated January 5, 2022, which AFP was able to consult, the lawyers rely in particular on an article by the DailyMail, in which one of the jurors confides having summoned his own victim memories during the deliberations to enlighten the rest of the jury.

After forty 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, the most serious of which, 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 now risks being delayed. 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.

READ ALSO :Epstein case: a third witness and her ex-boyfriend charge Ghislaine Maxwell

Inconsistencies in the accounts of the victims

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 the article of DailyMail, the juror, a 35-year-old man, presented under his two first names Scotty David, explains that his experience has enabled him to enlighten other jurors on the fact that victims of sexual abuse do not always have a linear memory and exact of their trauma. The defense had attacked certain testimonies during the trial, noting inconsistencies in the accounts of the victims.

“According to the juror, this revelation influenced the deliberations and convinced the other members of the jury to convict Ms Maxwell”, write its defenders. Juror says he does not remember if he was asked if he had been sexually abused, saying he “overflown” the questionnaire that had been submitted to him, but he assures us that he would have answered honestly if the question had been put to him.

In parallel with this trial, American justice is examining the civil lawsuits brought by one of the couple’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, against Prince Andrew, whom she accuses of having raped her in 2001, when she was 17. year. The member of the British royal family, who dated the Epstein-Maxwell couple, has always vigorously denied these accusations.

READ ALSO :Sex trafficking of minors: the difficult testimony of “Jane” at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell

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