A federal judge on Thursday ordered a hearing on whether a juror who served in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell lied during the jury selection process, an issue that overshadowed the jury’s guilty verdict and prompted Ms. Maxwell to seek a new trial.
The judge, Alison J. Nathan, said she will question the juror, who has been identified as the 50th Jury, under oath at a hearing on March 8.
Mrs. Maxwell, 60 years old, sentenced on December 29 sex trafficking and four other counts in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The jury heard testimony for three weeks that she helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein entice, groom, and sexually abuse underage girls.
After the trial ended, the 50-year-old juror, a Manhattan man in his mid-30s, revealed in comments to the media that during the jury’s deliberations he told the jurors that he had been sexually abused as a child and had not told anyone about the abuse for many years.
But a copy of the confidential questionnaire sent to prospective jurors ahead of the trial shows that Juror 50 ticked the box for “no” when he was asked if he had ever been a victim of fraud. sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual assault. A copy of the questionnaire was sealed on Thursday.
Although judges, when trying to assess the impact of disclosures in the jury room, are prohibited from asking jurors what happened during their deliberations, they can review panel statements assessment in the selection process.
Judge Nathan said in a brief order on Thursday that after the trial, “The 50 jury made a number of direct, unambiguous statements to a variety of media about their own experiences unrelated to the trial.” involved in jury deliberations and that cast doubt on the accuracy of his answers in the panel. choice.”
She said Juror 50’s claim was “clear, strong, substantial and indisputable evidence” of an “incorrectness – namely a false statement in the jury’s selection process” crew – happened.”
Judge Nathan emphasized that it was not possible that someone with a history of sexual abuse could have served on the jury.
“Instead,” she wrote, “it was the jury’s failure to honestly answer questions during the selection process that required that important information so that any potential bias could be discovered.” .”
The responses in the questionnaire are intended for defense attorneys and prosecutors as they consider what type of juror they want for reasons such as bias.
Juror 50, in interviews with news outlets, told Reuters he had “passed” the jury questionnaire and he doesn’t remember being asked about his personal experiences with sexual abuse. He said he would answer such questions honestly, Reuters reported.
In one of his interviews, with DailyMail.com, Juror 50 was quoted as saying that he helped other members of the jury understand things from the victim’s point of view.
Ms. Maxwell’s proposal for a new trial, which was also sealed on Thursday, argues that if the 50 jury “answered truthfully” in the jury selection process, “he will suffer a challenge for good reason.”
Judge Nathan also said she would make her entire opinion public on the matter regarding Juror 50, which has been temporarily sealed.
Todd A. Spodek, an attorney for Juror 50, declined to comment on the judge’s order.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/nyregion/ghislaine-maxwell-trial-juror.html The jury is questioned like Ghislaine Maxwell Looking for a new trial