Ghislaine Maxwell Requests Retrial In Sex Abuse Case Following Juror Revelation
Ahead of her sentencing on sex abuse and trafficking charges, lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell formally requested a retrial Wednesday after it was revealed earlier this month that one juror may not have disclosed a past history with sexual abuse on his initial questionnaire.
Maxwell, 60, a British socialite, was convicted of the crimes last year, which primarily involved procuring and grooming teenage girls to be abused by the late Jeffrey Epstein and others. Her charges carry a potential combined sentence of up to 65 years if the sentencing hearing doesn’t go her way.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan was officially notified of the request Wednesday night in a letter from Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim. The juror’s revelations weren’t specifically mentioned in the letter, but Sternheim specifically requested submissions related to “Juror No. 50” stay sealed until the motion has been decided on.
Maxwell’s attorneys also said earlier this month that the juror’s recounting of his experience with sexual abuse during closed-door deliberations was a “compelling basis” to grant her a new trial.
They argued that the juror could have “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell.”
The juror was eventually identified, and in interviews with papers said that he “flew through” the first questionnaire, and likely missed the screening question pertaining to sexual abuse. He claims he would have been honest about his past if someone had followed up with him.
The juror also admitted that he felt compelled to share his story with jurors when they were doubting the credibility of two women who testified they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein.
He specifically said the other jurors were “able to sort of come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse,” after hearing his story.
It remains to be seen whether Nathan will uphold Maxwell’s current sentencing hearing date of Jun 28, or approve the retrial.