The Star Democrat

Maxwell to seek new trial after reports of juror’s sex abuse

- BY LARRY NEUMEISTER

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted last week of conspiring to recruit and groom teenage girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein, plans to request a new trial after a juror in her case revealed he was a victim of sexual abuse, her defense lawyers said Wednesday.

The lawyers said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan that “based on undisputed, publicly available informatio­n, the Court can and should order a new trial without any evidentiar­y hearing.”

The judge late Wednesday set a schedule for the defense to ask for a new trial, saying it should make the request by Jan. 19, with prosecutor­s replying by Feb. 2.

She asked them to address whether “an inquiry of some kind” is permitted or required. Nathan also said she will offer a courtappoi­nted lawyer for the juror.

The judge’s order came after defense lawyers said Maxwell “intends to request a new trial” with a submission that will include all known undisputed remarks of the juror, along with recorded statements and the questionna­ire all jurors filled out.

“It is clear to Ms. Maxwell that based on this record alone a new trial is required,” they said, urging that all trial jurors be examined to evaluate their conduct if a hearing occurs.

In interviews published Tuesday and Wednesday by The Independen­t and the Daily Mail, one juror described a moment during the deliberati­ons when he told fellow jurors in Maxwell’s trial that, like some of the victims of the late financier 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.

“I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the color of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video,” he said he told the jury, according to The Independen­t. “But I can’t remember all the details, there are some things that run together.”

The judge denied a request by another defense lawyer who wrote a separate letter asking her to suspend all other post-trial motions in the case.

In their own letter to Nathan, even prosecutor­s said those reports “merit attention by the Court.”The juror was identified only by his first and middle name in the articles.

Prosecutor­s suggested in their letter that Nathan schedule a hearing in about one month, along with a schedule for lawyers to file briefs regarding the applicable law and the scope of the hearing.

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