US judge rejects Ghislaine Maxwell’s request for a new trial

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New York (AFP) – A request for a new trial from Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein who was convicted of child sex trafficking late last year, was denied Friday by a federal judge in New York.

Maxwell’s lawyers requested a new trial in January after juror Scotty David – identified by first and middle name – told the media he persuaded other panelists to convict the 60-year-old by recalling his own experiences as a victim of sexual abuse, a fact he did not disclose during jury selection.

Maxwell, a disgraced British socialite, was convicted of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, and faces life imprisonment at her trial in June.

Two of Epstein’s victims, identified as ‘Jane’ and ‘Carolyn’, testified at Maxwell’s trial that they were only 14 when she began treating them and arranging for them give Epstein massages that ended in sexual activity.

Scotty David, called Juror 50 in court documents, said in interviews he helped convince jurors who doubted the ‘Jane’ and ‘Carolyn’ stories by telling them he didn’t remember each details of the abuse he had suffered. has received.

Maxwell’s attorneys had argued that Juror 50’s omission of his earlier sexual assault may have biased the jury.

He said the omission occurred because he “skimmed” the questionnaire.

Judge Alison Nathan questioned Juror 50 under oath on March 8 about the error.

In her decision on Friday, she said “Juror 50’s failure to disclose their prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was highly regrettable, but not deliberate.”

“The Court further finds that Juror 50 had no bias against the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror,” Nathan added.

“The defendant’s motion for a new trial… is therefore dismissed,” she concluded.

Maxwell’s sentencing capped a remarkable fall from grace.

The Oxford-educated daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell, she grew up in wealth and privilege as a friend of royalty.

His circle included Britain’s Prince Andrew, former US president and real estate baron Donald Trump and the Clinton family.

Prosecutors in his trial said Maxwell was “key” to Epstein’s plan to trick young girls into giving him massages, during which he would sexually abuse them.

Epstein killed himself in 2019 while awaiting his own sex crimes trial in New York.

In February, Prince Andrew settled a sex abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who said she was trafficked royally by Epstein and Maxwell.

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