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NEW YORK — Manhattan federal prosecutors called for an inquiry Wednesday into a juror on the Ghislaine Maxwell trial after he admitted to a journalist that he could not remember if he’d shared during jury selection that he’d once been sexually abused.
“While the Court instructed jurors that they were free to discuss their jury service with anyone of their choosing, some of the statements, as related in the media, merit attention by the Court. In particular, the juror has described being a victim of sexual abuse,” reads a filing from Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey.
“Assuming the accuracy of the reporting, the juror asserted that he ‘flew through’ the prospective juror questionnaire and does not recall being asked whether he had been a victim of sexual abuse, but stated that ‘he would have answered honestly.’
“Based on the foregoing, the government believes the court should conduct an inquiry.”
The statements were made to a reporter for Reuters. In the interview, the 35-year-old juror identified by his first and middle name, Scotty David, claimed to have persuaded some of his fellow jurors about the credibility of some of Maxwell’s victims by revealing he’d been sexually abused as a child.
“When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse,” David told Reuters.
He added that he could not recall whether he shared the same information with the prosecution and lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein’s chief enabler. Maxwell was found guilty last week and faces up to 65 years in prison for grooming Epstein’s underage victims between 1994 and 2004.
Hundreds of prospective jurors were sent questionnaires during the jury selection process as lawyers and prosecutors attempted to find 12 unbiased panelists to sit on the high-profile case.
“Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault? (This includes actual or attempted sexual assault or other unwanted sexual advance, including by a stranger, acquaintance, supervisor, teacher, or family member.),” reads the 48th question on the survey.
The Daily News tracked down David on Tuesday on social media but he did not respond to requests to be interviewed.
Photos on his now-private account showed the juror posing in a selfie dated Nov. 4, early in jury selection, outside the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in lower Manhattan, where Maxwell went on trial.
“I can now tell everyone that I was a juror on the Ghislaine Maxwell trial,” reads a post on David’s account published Thursday, a day after the jury convicted Maxwell of five of six felony charges.
“Been an incredible, surreal experience and an honor to serve our country!”