The juror at the center of the Ghislaine Maxwell conviction chaos will be grilled by a Manhattan judge Tuesday.
The panelist, identified by his first and middle names, Scotty David, spurred a retrial request from Maxwell’s attorneys after giving a number of interviews to press outlets following the disgraced socialite’s conviction in December.
In his statements to the press, David revealed that he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse – and that he shared his experiences during jury deliberations to help convince fellow jurors to convict Maxwell.
During the jury selection process, prospective panelists were asked in questionnaires if they had been accused of, or the victims of, sexual abuse or harassment.
David’s questionnaire was unsealed by Judge Alison Nathan last week, which revealed he responded “no” to those queries on the form.
David, who lawyered up after throwing the verdict into question, wrote in a court filing earlier this month that he intends to plead the Fifth and remain silent at Tuesday’s hearing.
Prosecutors responded that they intend to offer David immunity ahead of the hearing, so he can’t incriminate himself by responding to questions from Nathan.
In a court filing late Monday, New York federal prosecutors said they had received approval from Justice Department officials to grant David immunity.
Either way, former New York federal prosecutor Sarah Krissoff insisted to The Post before immunity was approved that there is a “growing likelihood” Maxwell may be granted a new trial.
“While we do not know the basis on which Juror 50 is invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege, the fact that he is doing so tells us that he would likely have criminal exposure were he to testify – without any protections – at the hearing,” Krissoff, who is now a white-collar defense attorney, said in a recent email.
“While the immunity order, if granted, will allow the inquiry of Juror 50 to go forward and the facts to emerge, there is a growing likelihood that the result of that inquiry is a new trial for Ghislaine Maxwell,” she added.
Seasoned New York defense attorney Julie Rendelman added that although the threshold for a new trial is high, there is indeed that possibility because of the juror’s statements.
“The judge may infer, and certainly the defense will argue, that the juror’s answers in the initial questionnaire were not only untruthful but that the juror intentionally answered the questions dishonestly,” Rendelman said in an email.
“While it is difficult to overturn a verdict based on juror misconduct, any evidence that leans towards Maxwell not receiving a fair trial opens the door wider to that possibility,” she added.
Maxwell was convicted on five counts, including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, after a lengthy trial in December.
If her conviction stands, she faces a maximum of 65 years in prison.