In a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who led the trial of Maxwell, attorney Christian Everdell said there were “undeniable reasons” for a new trial
Image: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
A hearing has been scheduled to determine whether convicted British celebrity Ghislaine Maxwell will be tried again after a juror was found to have been sexually abused.
Now, in separate reports, a second juror has allegedly been reported who claims to have also been a victim of sexual abuse.
The two jurors both reportedly said they had “shared their experiences of sexual abuse during the deliberations”.
In a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who led the case against Maxwell, attorney Christian Everdell said there were “undeniable reasons” for a new trial.
He called the matter “an urgent matter” and said revelations by the original juror “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell”.
Everdell submitted the letter shortly after prosecutors, who enforced the British celebrity’s sexual abuse conviction for recruiting underage girls for Epstein, asked Nathan to open an investigation into the jury’s testimony.
the Daily mail reports that one of the jurors said he did not remember the question on the jury questionnaire asking if he or a friend or family member had been a victim of sexual abuse or assault.
All questions were answered honestly, according to the juror.
Any decision as to whether a new trial is warranted could depend on how the jury responded to questions about previous sexual abuse experiences when selecting the jury.
Legal experts said this was a key issue defense lawyers were looking at in order to weed out potentially biased jurors.
Hundreds of prospective jurors completed questionnaires asking, among other things, whether they or their family members had experienced sexual abuse or assault.
Moira Penza, partner at Wilkinson Stekloff law firm, said any investigation will likely focus on whether the judge made a mistake or omission in answering questions in an initial screening questionnaire for potential jurors or follow-up questions from the judge.
“Defense attorneys will argue that this question was important in determining the bias of the juror or a juror,” she said.
Maxwell’s defense motion will be heard on January 19 before the prosecutor’s response on February 2, and seven days later the British lawyers have an opportunity to respond.
Judge Nathan decided, “The briefing of the parties should deal with whether an investigation of any kind is permitted and / or required and, if so, the nature of such an investigation.
“Although the court reserves the right to decide whether an investigation of any kind is warranted, the court upholds the government’s motion to offer a court-appointed attorney to the contested jury.”
Maxwell, 60, was convicted on December 29 of sex trafficking and other charges of recruiting and caring for underage girls for Epstein between 1994 and 2004.
She faced up to 65 years in prison and was expected to appeal her conviction, which followed a month-long trial.
Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in a Manhattan prison in August 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.