The Columbus Dispatch

Maxwell juror to be questioned

- Larry Neumeister

NEW YORK – A judge said Thursday she will question a juror under oath during a rare post-verdict evidentiar­y hearing about the answers he gave during jury selection for the criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell after he told news outlets that he didn’t recall being asked about prior sexual abuse.

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan said that she’ll question the juror March 8 at a public court hearing.

She also said she had rejected a request by Maxwell’s attorneys that she order a new trial without gathering more informatio­n.

Maxwell, 60, remains incarcerat­ed after she was convicted of sex traffickin­g, among other charges, during a December trial in which she was portrayed as the chief recruiter of teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse. Prosecutor­s said she also sometimes joined in the abuse.

In interviews with news outlets, the juror described a moment during the deliberati­ons when he told fellow jurors that, like some of the victims of Epstein, he had been sexually abused as a child. And he said he convinced other jurors that a victim’s imperfect memory of sex abuse doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Nathan said it was not easy for parties to obtain the kind of hearing she will conduct regarding the juror’s conduct. But she said she had concluded, and prosecutor­s had conceded, that the high standard required to stage a post-verdict evidentiar­y hearing was met “as to whether Juror 50 failed to respond truthfully during the jury selection process to whether he was a victim of sexual abuse.”

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