Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell asked a federal judge to grant her a new trial after raising concerns about statements a juror made following the disgraced socialite’s conviction last month on sex-trafficking charges.
In a brief letter filed late Wednesday, Bobbi Sternheim, a lawyer for Ms. Maxwell, told U.S. District Judge
that the attorneys had filed their motion for a new trial and related exhibits under seal. Ms. Sternheim requested that material pertaining to the juror remain sealed until after Judge Nathan rules on the motion.
Lawyers for Ms. Maxwell indicated earlier this month that they would seek a new trial.
After the trial, the juror, a 35-year-old man, told media outlets that sharing his experiences as a sex-abuse victim influenced deliberations. The juror told Reuters that he talked about his experience after some jurors questioned how accurate the memories of Ms. Maxwell’s accusers were.
“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,” the juror said, according to Reuters.
Ms. Maxwell, 60 years old, was convicted of five of six criminal counts in late December. The most serious count, sex trafficking of minors, carries a maximum of 40 years in prison. Judge Nathan has scheduled Ms. Maxwell’s sentencing for June 28.
During the three-week trial, federal prosecutors said that between 1994 and 2004, Ms. Maxwell recruited and groomed teens for sex acts with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Her lawyers said she was a scapegoat who wasn’t indicted until nearly a year after Epstein died in a federal jail while awaiting his own sex-trafficking charges. The New York City medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
After the juror gave media interviews following the trial, federal prosecutors told the judge the matter merited an inquiry and Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers said they would ask for a new trial.
Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers said their submission for a new trial would include materials including a pretrial questionnaire the juror filled out, which asked a question about whether one had experienced sexual abuse. The juror told Reuters that he “flew through” the questionnaire and didn’t recall that particular question.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment. Lawyers for Ms. Maxwell and the juror didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Write to James Fanelli at email@example.com and Corinne Ramey at Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com
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