Ghislaine Maxwell's prosecutors seek inquiry into juror's sexual abuse claim

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, prosecutors led by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the juror's statements to the media "merit attention"

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U.S. prosecutors who last week won Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction for her role in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses on Wednesday asked the trial judge to open an inquiry into one juror's statements to the media about having been a victim of sexual abuse.

The juror, who asked to be identified by his first and middle name, Scotty David, told Reuters he "flew through" the juror questionnaire used before trial to determine whether prospective jurors could judge Maxwell fairly, and did not recall being asked about his experiences with sexual abuse. He said he would have answered honestly.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, prosecutors led by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the juror's statements to the media "merit attention" by the court, and asked that a hearing be scheduled about one month from now.

They also said court staff should ask the juror whether he wants a lawyer. Other media cited by prosecutors include the Daily Mail and The Independent, both in Britain.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Scotty David did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on Dec. 29 of sex trafficking and other charges for recruiting and grooming underage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell faces up to 70 years in prison but is expected to appeal her conviction, which followed a month-long trial.

Epstein, a financier, killed himself in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

Scotty David, a 35-year-old Manhattan resident, told Reuters that during deliberations, after some jurors had questioned some recollections from two of Maxwell's accusers, he shared his experience of having been sexually abused as a child.

"When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse," Scotty David said, referring to other jurors.

He added that reaching a unanimous verdict "wasn't easy, to be honest."