A request for a new trial by Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein who was convicted of child trafficking late last year, was denied by a federal judge in New York on Friday.
Maxwell’s attorneys filed for a retrial in January after juror Scotty David – identified by his first and middle names – told the media he had persuaded other panelists to convict the 60-year-old by referring to his own experiences as a victim of sexual abuse. a fact he did not disclose during the jury’s selection.
Maxwell, a disgraced British socialite, has been found guilty of recruiting and grooming young girls for sexual abuse at the hands of the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and faces a possible life sentence at her June trial.
Two of Epstein’s victims, identified as “Jane” and “Carolyn,” testified at Maxwell’s trial that they were only 14 when she began grooming them and making sure they gave Epstein massages that ended in sexual activity.
Scotty David, referred to in court filings as Juror 50, said in interviews that he helped persuade jurors who doubted the accounts of “Jane” and “Carolyn” by telling them he didn’t look at each individual detail of the abuse he had received.
Maxwell’s attorneys had argued that Juror 50’s omission of his earlier sexual assault may have biased the jury.
He had said the omission was because he had “flipped through” the questionnaire.
Judge Alison Nathan questioned Juror 50 under oath on March 8 about the error.
In her decision on Friday, she said Juror 50’s failure to disclose his past sexual abuse during the jury selection process was extremely unfortunate but not intentional.
“The court further concludes that juror 50 had no bias against the defendant and was able to serve as a fair and impartial jury,” added Nathan.
“The defendant’s motion for a new trial … is therefore denied,” she concluded.
Maxwell’s conviction capped a remarkable fall from grace.
The Oxford-educated daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell, she grew up in wealth and privilege as a friend of royalty.
Her circle included Britain’s Prince Andrew, former US President and real estate baron Donald Trump, and the Clinton family.
Prosecutors at their trial said Maxwell was “key” to Epstein’s plan to trick young girls into giving him massages in which he sexually abused them.
Epstein killed himself in 2019 while awaiting his own sex crimes trial in New York.
In February, Prince Andrew settled a sex abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who said she was sold to the royals by Epstein and Maxwell.