Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney has suggested a juror could destroy evidence unless her motion for a retrial remains sealed.
The British socialite is attempting to overturn her conviction on five out of six sex trafficking charges in December after Scotty David told journalists he discussed his past history of abuse in the jury room.
Jurors were asked whether they had experienced sexual assault but David told The Daily Mail: “I would have definitely marked yes, but I don’t remember that question.”
Following his media interviews, Maxwell’s team submitted a motion for a retrial and said his answers to the questionnaire “corrupted” the process, violating her right to a fair trial.
However, they have asked for their motion and the Government’s reply be kept secret.
Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s attorney, wrote in a letter to the court seen by Newsweek: “Giving Juror 50 [Scotty David] a preview of information he does not have and should not have at this juncture would permit him to craft testimony, destroy critical evidence, and explain away facts to protect himself while further jeopardizing the integrity of this case.
“The absence of this temporary safeguard will contribute to further obstruction of the truth-seeking process, compromising any factual inquiry ordered by the Court, and jeopardizing Ms. Maxwell’s legitimate opportunity to establish why a mistrial should be granted to vindicate her constitution right to a fair trial.”
The New York federal court heard Maxwell’s victims describe how she groomed them to be abused by Epstein, normalizing his predatory behavior.
Annie Farmer said she was 16 when Maxwell massaged her breasts.
Quoted by The Guardian, she told the court: “She [Maxwell] said to get undressed and get [under] the sheet on the massage table.
“She pulled the sheet down and exposed my breasts, and started rubbing on my chest and on my upper breast.”
Farmer added: “When she pulled down the sheet I felt frozen because it didn’t make sense to me. I was surprised and I wanted so badly to get off of the table and have that massage be done with.”
If Maxwell’s motion is successful the December conviction will be quashed and a new trial ordered.
A previous letter from Sternheim, seen by Newsweek, read: “The Motion urges the Court to right a grievous wrong that deprived Ms. Maxwell of a fundamental constitutional right—her right to be tried by a fair and impartial jury.
“Juror 50’s responses to the jury questionnaire and questions posed to him during in-person voir dire corrupted the voir dire process and violated Ms. Maxwell’s right to a fair trial.
“As set forth in the Motion, the defense believes that the existing record is clear and more than sufficient for the Court to grant Ms. Maxwell a new trial without the need for further factual development.”