Ghislaine Maxwell won't get a new trial after judge rules juror who failed to disclose his own sexual assault didn't deliberately lie

ghislaine maxwell trial
Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, enters the court followed by U.S. court marshalls during her trial in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 2, 2021.REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
  • A judge ruled that Ghislaine Maxwell won't get a retrial.

  • Her lawyers demanded one after a juror revealed he failed to disclose his own sexual assault in the jury questionnaire.

  • The judge ruled it was an honest mistake and he wouldn't have been struck from the jury for cause.

Ghislaine Maxwell won't be getting a retrial, the judge presiding over her case ruled Friday, closing a chapter in a months-long drama over whether the verdict convicting Jeffrey Epstein's friend on child-sex-trafficking charges should stand.

The verdict was thrown into doubt after one juror told several journalists that he was personally sexually abused as a child. The juror, who identified himself in media interviews by his first and middle name, Scotty David, and was identified in court as Juror 50, didn't disclose the experience on the jury questionnaire and was not asked about it in follow-up questioning by the judge ahead of Maxwell's trial.

Maxwell's lawyers argued that Juror 50 should have never been seated on the jury and that Maxwell should be granted a retrial. The jury found her guilty of trafficking girls to Epstein for sex, and sometimes sexually abusing them herself.

US District Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over the trial held in late November and December in Manhattan, summoned Juror 50 to court in March to explain why he didn't disclose the experience on the questionnaire.

The juror said that he felt rushed as he filled out the lengthy form, was bored, and did not believe he would be selected for the jury anyway. He also said that he does not linger on the experience and that his memory of his abuse did not occur to him while filling out the questionnaire.

"I don't really think about my abuse anymore because it doesn't define me," he told the judge in the hearing. "I don't feel like I am the victim of a crime even though I am a victim of a crime."

In her 40-page order Friday, Nathan said she found Juror 50 to be credible.

"His tone, demeanor, and responsiveness gave no indication of false testimony," she wrote. "The Court thus credits his testimony that he was distracted as he filled out the questionnaire and 'skimmed way too fast,' leading him to misunderstand some of the questions. Assuming mistakenly that he would not be one of the twelve jurors selected from the hundreds of prospective jurors who had been summoned, he rushed through the questionnaire."

The juror, Nathan wrote, didn't make deliberate errors in order to sit on the jury, as Maxwell's lawyers had alleged. She wrote he "would not have been stricken for cause even if he had answered each question on the questionnaire accurately."

"Juror 50's lack of attention and care in responding accurately to every question on the questionnaire is regrettable, but the Court is confident that the failure to disclose was not deliberate," she wrote.

Maxwell's attorneys are likely to appeal the decision. Nathan was confirmed by the Senate to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in late March, but would not participate in reviewing the appeal because she oversaw the trial.

Nathan also on Friday ordered the parties to prepare memorandums ahead of sentencing on June 28. The 60-year-old British former socialite faces a sentence of up to 65 years in prison.

Read Judge Alison Nathan's order below:

Read the original article on Insider