A request for a new trial by Ghislaine Maxwell, the former Jeffrey Epstein associate who was convicted of child sex trafficking late last year, was denied Friday by a federal judge in New York.
Maxwell’s lawyers filed for a retrial in January after juror Scotty David — identified by his first and middle names — told media outlets he had persuaded fellow panelists to convict the 60-year-old by recalling his own experiences as a sex abuse victim, a fact he did not reveal during jury selection.
Maxwell, a disgraced British socialite, was convicted of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein and faces potential life imprisonment at her sentencing trial in June.
Two of Epstein’s victims, identified as “Jane” and “Carolyn,” testified in Maxwell’s trial that they were as young as 14 when she began grooming them and arranging for them to give massages to Epstein that resulted in sexual activity.
Scotty David, referred to as Juror 50 in court filings, said in interviews that he had helped convince jurors who were doubting the accounts of “Jane” and “Carolyn” by telling them that he did not remember every single detail of the abuse he had received.
Maxwell’s lawyers had argued that Juror 50’s omission of his prior sexual assault could have biased the jury.
The juror said the omission occurred because he “flew through” the questionnaire.
Judge Alison Nathan quizzed Juror 50 under oath on March 8 about the error.
In her ruling Friday, she said Juror 50’s “failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was highly unfortunate, but not deliberate.”
“The Court further concludes that Juror 50 harbored no bias toward the Defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror,” Nathan added.
“The Defendant’s motion for a new trial … is therefore denied,” she concluded.
Maxwell’s conviction capped a remarkable fall from grace.
An Oxford-educated daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell, she grew up in wealth and privilege as a friend to royalty.
Her circle included Britain’s Prince Andrew, former U.S. president and real estate baron Donald Trump and the Clinton family.
Prosecutors in her trial said Maxwell was “the key” to Epstein’s scheme of enticing young girls to give him massages, during which he would sexually abuse them.
Epstein killed himself in 2019 while awaiting his own sex crimes trial in New York.
In February, Andrew settled a sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who said she had been trafficked to the royal by Epstein and Maxwell.