Juror whose sex abuse revelations called Ghislaine Maxwell verdict into question lawyers up with attorney who represented 'fake heiress' Anna Sorokin

ghislaine maxwell trial
Ghislaine Maxwell listens as defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim gives her opening statement at the start of Maxwell's trial on charges of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2021.Jane Rosenberg/Reuters
  • Ghislaine Maxwell's sex-trafficking conviction is in jeopardy after a juror disclosed that he shared his experience with sexual abuse during deliberations.

  • Maxwell's defense has requested a new trial and prosecutors asked the court for an inquiry into the matter.

  • Court documents show the juror retained Todd Spodek, an attorney who formerly represented "fake heiress" Anna Sorokin.

A juror who convicted Ghislaine Maxwell of sex trafficking has retained a lawyer who previously represented "fake heiress" Anna Sorokin, after the juror's claims that he shared his experience with sexual abuse during deliberations called the verdict into question.

The juror, Scott David, who only identified himself by his first and middle names, told The Independent that he shared he had been sexually abused after some other jurors questioned the memory of some of Maxwell's accusers. Another juror who spoke with The New York Times on condition of anonymity said that they also shared their experience with sexual abuse during the deliberations.

Maxwell's defense asked US District Judge Alison J. Nathan for a new trial on Wednesday in light of David's claims. Maxwell, a former longtime associate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted on five of six charges including sex trafficking, conspiracy, and transporting a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

A legal expert told Insider's Kelsey Vlamis that Maxwell's guilty verdict will "very likely" be thrown out after the juror's comments. Maxwell's attorneys will have to file a motion for a new trial by January 19, and the prosecution has until February 2 to respond.

Prosecutors on Wednesday also requested that Nathan open an inquiry into David's comments to the media. Legal experts previously told Insider that the prosecutors' request suggests they believe the juror may have acted criminally by committing perjury.

Nathan granted prosecutors' request to give David a court-appointed attorney, but the juror declined the offer, according to court documents. David instead retained Todd Spodek, an attorney who formerly represented Sorokin. Spodek did not immediately return Insider's requests for comment on Thursday.

Sorokin was accused of faking her social status to defraud socialites in New York City under the name Anna Delvey. A jury convicted Sorokin in April 2019 on charges of two counts of grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, and theft of services. Sorokin was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in state prison and ordered to pay $199,000 in restitution.

Sorokin, who is a German national, was released from prison in February 2021 and taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She currently remains in jail in Goshen, New York awaiting deportation.

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