Ghislaine Maxwell’s motion for retrial has been unsealed, and it makes no mention of jury bias

Maxwell was convicted of five sex trafficking charges in late December (Reuters)
·2 min read

Ghislaine Maxwell’s motion for a new trial makes no mention of the juror her lawyers have loudly accused of bias, court documents show.

Lawyers for Maxwell, who was convicted of five sex-trafficking charges in December, had previously argued that a juror known as Scotty David, who says he was sexually abused as a child, “corrupted” the jury selection process and tainted the trial. In a letter to Judge Alison Nathan, the defence implied that this was the basis of their request for a retrial.

“Juror 50’s responses to the jury questionnaire and questions posed to him during in-person voir dire [jury selection] corrupted the voir dire process and violated Ms Maxwell’s right to a fair trial,” attorney Christian Everdell wrote.

“As set forth in the Motion, the defence believes that the existing record is clear and more than sufficient for the Court to grant Ms Maxwell a new trial without the need for further factual development.”

In the same letter, Mr Everdell asked the judge to keep the motion for retrial sealed, along with all other documents related to it. Judge Nathan refused, and both the motion and the defence’s memorandum supporting it were unsealed on Saturday.

What’s inside, oddly, is completely unrelated to the juror. The memo sets forth a number of arguments that Maxwell’s trial was unfair, including that the charges were brought too late, many of the alleged sex acts took place outside of New York, and the conspiracy charges overlapped, and therefore should not count as separate crimes.

“The proof at trial established, at most, a single conspiracy,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote.

But no mention is made of Scotty David, nor does the memo even address the questions of whether a sexually abused person should have been able to serve on the jury, or whether that juror answered the pre-trial questionnaire honestly. (Scotty David’s answers to those questions are sealed.)

The memo’s silence on those issues was startling, considering how aggressively Maxwell’s lawyers had pursued them before.

“Ms Maxwell vigorously asserts that she did not receive a fair trial because of Juror 50’s presence on the jury (and potentially the presence of other jurors who were the victims of sexual abuse),” Mr Everdell had written in his letter to Judge Nathan.

The Independent has reached out to Maxwell’s lawyers for comment.