The juror who has thrown Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict into question did not disclose in his pre-trial jury questionnaire that he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it was revealed Thursday.
Juror No. 50’s questionnaire, which was just unsealed as part of new court documents filed in the case, answered “no” to questions that asked whether he or his close friends and family had been accused of — or were victims of — sexual harassments, abuse or assault.
The questionnaire was made public as an attachment to Maxwell’s motion for a new trial, which highlighted the juror’s answers as the reason why she deserves to be retried.
“Most importantly, Juror No. 50 answered ‘no’ when asked in Question 48 if he had ever been the victim of victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault, including actual or attempted sexual assault or other unwanted sexual advance, including by a stranger, acquaintance, supervisor, teacher, or family member,” the motion states.
“Juror No. 50 was not telling the truth when he denied being a victim of a crime or being a victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harassment,” it adds.
The false answers he provided on the questionnaire deprived Maxwell’s constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury, her attorneys argued.
The juror, who was identified in media interviews by his first and middle names, Scotty David, said in a number of interviews that he had been sexually abused as a child – and admitted to disclosing that experience to his fellow panelists while they were deliberating.
In an interview with Reuters, David said he “flew through” the questionnaire and didn’t remember being asked if he or members of his family were victims of sex harassment or abuse.
In the motion for a new trial, Maxwell’s attorneys also noted statements David made on social media after an article based on the first interview he gave was shared by Annie Farmer, a witness who testified at the trial.
“Thanks for being brave enough to stand up and share your experience. Your story was critical in how we reached our verdict in that jury room. Thanks for sharing my story,” David tweeted to Farmer, who posted a story about him in the British newspaper The Independent.
Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over the trial, ordered the juror to answer questions under oath at a hearing in Manhattan federal court on March 8.
“Juror 50’s post-trial statements are ‘clear, strong, substantial and incontrovertible evidence that a specific, nonspeculative impropriety’ — namely, a false statement during jury selection — has occurred,” Nathan wrote in an order Thursday.
At the same time, Nathan shot down Maxwell’s request for a new trial until after the hearing because doing so would require her to consider unsworn statements to the press as fact.
Maxwell was convicted on five of six counts, including sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, in December.
If her conviction stands, she faces a maximum of 65 years in prison.