NEW YORK — A juror who convicted Ghislaine Maxwell will be questioned publicly about whether he was forthcoming about being sexually abused as a child before being selected for the panel, a judge ruled Thursday.
Federal Judge Alison Nathan’s order comes after weeks of speculation about how the court would handle statements Scotty David made after finding Maxwell guilty of enticing and transporting teenage girls for sex with Jeffrey Epstein. Both the prosecution and the defense requested an inquiry.
“Following trial, Juror 50 made several direct, unambiguous statements to multiple media outlets about his own experience that do not pertain to jury deliberations and that cast doubt on the accuracy of his responses during jury selection,” reads Nathan’s order.
“To be clear, the potential impropriety is not that someone with a history of sexual abuse may have served on the jury. Rather, it is the potential failure to respond truthfully to questions during the jury selection process that asked for that material information so that any potential bias could be explored.”
David said in interviews that fellow jurors were skeptical of some of the testifying victims’ memories, leading him to open up about his own experience.
“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 said.
David is trying to see the questionnaire he filled out during jury selection, according to court papers filed by his lawyer Todd Spodek.
“Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?” asks the 48th question on the survey.
“This includes actual or attempted sexual assault or other unwanted sexual advance, including by a stranger, acquaintance, supervisor, teacher, or family member.”
David told Reuters he “flew through” the paperwork and did not recall questions about personal experience with sexual assault. An intentionally false statement on a juror questionnaire could rise to the level of perjury.
Maxwell’s lawyers demanded she get a new trial after David’s interviews were published.
Nathan rejected that effort Thursday based solely on the media interviews as David wasn’t under oath, but he will be questioned on March 8. The judge denied another motion from Maxwell seeking a broader inquest focused on a second juror they allege also omitted their personal experience with sexual abuse.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted on Dec. 29 for being convicted sex offender Epstein’s chief enabler from 1994 to 2004.
She remains in federal lockup at the Metropolitan Detention Complex in Brooklyn and faces up to 65 years in prison when sentenced in June.