Ghislaine Maxwell’s appeal for a new trial was refused on Friday by a Manhattan judge, who dismissed her allegation that a juror’s reluctance to reveal his history of sexual assault as a kid had robbed her of a fair and impartial jury.
Judge Alison J. Nathan’s ruling looks to smooth the way for Ms. Maxwell’s sentencing on June 28. The decision will very certainly be part of Ms. Maxwell’s appeal of her conviction.
Ms. Maxwell, 60, was convicted guilty of sex trafficking and four other offenses on Dec. 29 in connection with allegations that she assisted infamous billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in obtaining, grooming, and sexually abusing minor females.
Ghislaine Maxwell Was Jeffrey Epstein’s Lover
Ghislaine Maxwell had requested a new trial when one of the jurors, identified as Juror 50, disclosed in conversations with the media that he had told other jurors about his history of sexual assault during deliberations. According to one report, he assisted jurors in seeing things from the perspective of a victim.
However, the juror had chosen “no” on a pre-trial screening questionnaire that questioned if possible jurors had ever been sexually abused. “Had Juror No. 50 revealed the truth,” Ms. Maxwell’s attorneys contended, “he would have been challenged and dismissed for a reason.”
Judge Nathan disagreed, writing in a 40-page judgment that she would not have permitted a hypothetical appeal for cause if Juror 50 had reported his abuse during jury selection. Jury 50, she found, “had no bias” against Ms. Maxwell and “could function as a fair and unbiased juror.”
“The court is convinced that the failure to disclose was not purposeful,” Judge Nathan said of Juror 50’s “lack of attention and care in responding truthfully to every item on the questionnaire.” The month-long trial of Ms. Ghislaine Maxwell was largely seen as the courtroom reckoning that Mr. Epstein, 66, never received. In August 2019, he was discovered dead in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking allegations. He had hung himself, according to the medical examiner.