Scotty David, who spoke on condition that only his first and middle names are used, said he went into the trial firmly believing that Maxwell was ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and viewing the victims with a skeptical eye
Ghislaine Maxwell will ask for a new trial after two jurors came forward to reveal that they were victims of sexual abuse and that their experiences helped guide other jurors to convict, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The announcement came amid a flurry of Federal court filings Wednesday following interviews given by juror Scotty David and a second anonymous juror in which both admitted that they shared their experiences of sexual abuse during deliberation.
David told first DailyMail.com and, later, other news outlet that he did not remember the question in the juror questionnaire which specifically asked potential jurors if they or any friend or family member had been the victim of sexual abuse or assault. Though he insisted that he had answered all questions, ‘honestly.’
But according to Maxwell’s attorneys in their latest letter to Federal court Judge Alison Nathan it does not matter whether any omission was intentional or an honest mistake. If it happened at all it is grounds for a mistrial to be called and a new trial convened.
They state, ‘The Supreme Court has held that to be entitled to a new trial, ‘a party must first demonstrate that a juror failed to answer honestly a material question on voir dire, and then further show that a correct response would have provided a valid basis for a challenge for cause.’
A challenge for cause is when a potential juror is dismissed as they are deemed incapable of serving or being impartial.
Maxwell’s lawyers continue, ‘This standard applies even if the juror’s conduct was merely inadvertent and not intentional.’
‘Ms. Maxwell,’ they state, ‘Intends to request a new trial under Rule 33 because the ‘interest of justice to requires.’
The shock move come after an earlier filing in which Maxwell’s lawyers stated that they had ‘incontrovertible’ grounds for a mistrial.
Earlier the US Attorney General has requested an investigation into a juror in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial’s public admission that he ‘flew through’ the juror questionnaire and ‘could not remember’ revealing that he had been a victim of sexual abuse.
That letter, obtained by DailyMail.com also filed in Federal Court Wednesday, came as a direct response to interviews given by David in which he revealed that his admission of being a victim of sexual abuse marked a sea-change in deliberations.
In interviews given by a second juror Wednesday they also expressed the view that sharing their story helped lead uncertain jurors towards a conviction.
Scotty recalled looking directly at Maxwell, ‘I could literally see her [all the time]. There were times when it felt like she was staring right at me and we would lock eyes…it didn’t feel real’
Ghislaine Maxwell will ask for a new trial after two jurors came forward to reveal that they were victims of sexual abuse and that their experiences helped guide other jurors to convict, DailyMail.com can reveal
Now Maxwell’s attorneys have shown their hand dismissing the state’s request for an ‘investigation’ as ‘premature’ and insisting that ‘based on undisputed, publicly available information, the Court can and should order a new trial. ‘
In the first of two letters filed by Maxwell’s defense team Wednesday they outlined that they described as ‘an issue of pressing importance.’
They stated, ‘It has come to the attention of the defense that one of the twelve jurors in the case (the ‘Juror’) has been giving oral and videotaped interviews to various members of the press concerning the jury deliberations.
‘These interviews have been publicly reported in several media outlets. Among other things, the Juror told reporter that he disclosed to the other members of the jury during deliberations that he was a victim of sexual abuse and further described his memory of those events. According to the Juror, his disclosure influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell.’
Maxwell’s defense team has called upon the judge to rule on this matter ahead of any of the other motions that are pending.
They went onto assert, ‘Should the defense prevail on this motion – and we believe the law and facts are clearly on our side – it would render all other post-trial motions moot. Ms. Maxwell should not have to expend precious time and resources briefing other motions when this motion can and should be dispositive.’
David spoke with DailyMail.com in an interview Tuesday night when he was asked if he had revealed his own experience of sexual abuse in the juror questionnaire completed ahead of his selection.
His immediate response was, ‘No they don’t ask your sexual abuse history. They didn’t ask it in the questionnaire.’
Question 48 in the 50-question document reads, ‘Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault? (This includes actual or attempted sexual assault or other unwanted sexual advance, including by a stranger, acquaintance, supervisor, teacher, or family member.)’
There are then three boxes to tick: Yes (self) Yes (friend of family member) and No.
When DailyMail.com pointed this out to David he said that he ‘definitely remembered’ filling out the questionnaire on day one of selection and said, ‘I would have definitely marked, ‘Yes.’ But I honestly don’t remember the question.’
He added, ‘I definitely remember a [question about a] family or relative or something being sexually abused. I was honest on all of my questions.’
According to legal experts Maxwell’s attorneys could have grounds for a mistrial or move to have her convictions quashed if David failed to disclose his personal history for any reason.
Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell say they have ‘incontrovertible’ grounds for a mistrial after a juror openly admitted that he was a survivor of sexual abuse and had discussed it during deliberations
Jury selection took place across two days with jurors filling out a questionnaire on day one. Some jurors were dismissed at this point with others progressing to the ‘voir dire’ stage in which they appeared before the judge. At this stage attorneys for both the state and the defense had an opportunity to interview jurors in more depth.
Both parties have a limited number of peremptory strikes which allows attorneys to reject a potential juror without giving a reason.
They do not have to use one of their peremptory strikes if the judge agrees with a request to dismisses a juror ‘for cause.’ This happens when the court agrees to strike a juror because there is some reason that renders them unable to serve or incapable of being impartial.
If Maxwell’s attorneys were not aware of a juror’s history of sexual abuse it would have severely impeded this process.
Speaking about the voir dire stage of his selection David told DailyMail.com, that the question of his experience of sexual abuse was, ‘never raised.’ He said, ‘We went in front of the judge and there were all the lawyers in the room and that’s where they asked me some questions. They asked me what I do, what I like to do for fun. And if I can be fair and impartial and it was literally like 30 second long and then I was out of the room.’
David went onto reveal that another juror shared an experience of sexual abuse or assault when he shared his own story on day three of deliberations but did not go into any detail of the incident.
He said that when he revealed his history, ‘the room fell silent’ and that he believed his experience as a survivor allowed him to better understand, and explain, the experiences of the victims who testified particularly in relation to memory and defense expert witness Elizabeth Loftus’s testimony regarding false or implanted memory.
In another interview given by David he said that he, ‘flew through’ the questionnaire.
And David’s public comments were enough to prompt the government to write to Judge Nathan who presided over Maxwell’s trial and conviction.
The US Attorney General has requested an investigation into Scotty David’s public admission that he ‘flew through’ the juror questionnaire and ‘could not remember’ revealing that he had been a victim of sexual abuse
A picture of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein relaxing in the Queen’s log cabin at Balmoral was shown at her sex trafficking trial. Wearing a blue checked shirt, the British socialite is seen resting her arm on Epstein’s knee as they sit in the exact same spot in the hut in Glen Beg that the Queen has been pictured relaxing in
The letter states, ‘The Government has become aware that a juror has given several interviews to press outlets regarding his jury service in this case. While the Court instructed jurors that they were free to discuss their jury service with anyone of their choosing, some of the statements, as related in the media, merit attention by the Court. In particular, the juror has described being a victim of sexual abuse. Assuming the accuracy of the reporting, the juror asserted that he ‘flew through’ the prospective juror questionnaire and does not recall being asked whether he had been a victim of sexual abuse, but state that ‘he would have answered honestly.’
The letter goes onto request an investigation conducted under the supervision of the Court and a hearing to be scheduled within a month.
The prosecution has reached out to the defense counsel but had not heard back at time of writing the letter. They also suggested that the Court reach out to David, who is not named in the letter, ‘and inquire whether he would like counsel to be appointed in connection with it.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to lawyers for Maxwell in a bid to determine whether they were aware of David – or any other juror’s – history of sexual abuse of assault during jury selection. They have not yet responded.
In his interview, David said he had helped the other members of the jury understand things from a victim’s point of view and explained how ‘you can’t remember all the details’ of traumatic memories – this was a crucial line of attack by Maxwell’s lawyers who called a ‘false memory’ expert witness.
David also claimed that the five guilty verdicts returned in New York last week, possibly condemning Maxwell to spend the rest of life behind bars, were for ‘all the victims’.
David said he went into the trial firmly believing that Maxwell was ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and viewing the victims with a skeptical eye.
But, he said, ‘After all I’ve learned, she’s just as guilty as Epstein. I don’t want to call her a monster, but a predator is the right word.
‘She knew what was happening. She knew what Epstein was doing and she allowed it to happen. She participated in getting these girls comfortable so that he could have his way with them.
‘And, to me, them returning repeatedly for the money has nothing to do with anything because these girls were minors, and it doesn’t matter what incentivized them. It matters what happened to them.’
Scotty revealed that he was not the only juror to share a story of sexual abuse and that it did not affect his ability to view Maxwell as innocent until proven guilty
During the trial Scotty, who works in finance, was seated in the third row of the jury box, in the back corner. From his vantage point, he said, he had a vista of the entire court and the ‘perfect view’ of Maxwell herself.
He recalled, ‘I could literally see her [all the time]. There were times when it felt like she was staring right at me and we would lock eyes…it didn’t feel real.’
‘She was constantly taking notes, and constantly passing post-it notes over to her attorneys especially when they were on cross examination.’
At times, he said, ‘I felt like she was watching what we were doing because there were times when some jurors, not during when the victims presented their testimony, but when certain other people presented on things that maybe they didn’t feel mattered…some people would nod off.’
Scotty said that Maxwell’s manner in court was discussed during deliberations. He said, ‘We did discuss that we thought she was a little standoffish and not necessarily cold, more like she was paying attention.’
In an insight that will surely come as a gut blow to Maxwell herself, who reportedly wanted to testify but was advised against it, Scotty revealed that if she had taken the stand, ‘It would have shown maybe that she was a little more human.
‘Maybe if she gave her version of the story, who knows, maybe if she gave us a story of how she was manipulated…I don’t know. But then that would have been an admission I feel like of guilt.’
Jurors were instructed not to draw any inference of guilt or otherwise from Maxwell’s decision not to testify and, Scotty said, it was simply set to one side and not discussed during deliberations.
Asked if, at any stage, he had experienced any sympathy for Maxwell he said, ‘Absolutely. Because this is the rest of her life, right? We were deciding what happens based off the evidence provided.
‘We took that very seriously because we took at as, this could be our sister, our sister could be on trial here. We have to really comb through the evidence and make sure we have enough proof to say that she’s either guilty or not.’
David told The Independent he found all the accusers to be credible, despite the defense’s attacks on their stories and memories.
‘They were all believable. Nothing they said felt to me like a lie,’ he said.
‘I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the color of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video,’ he said, and he explained this to fellow jurors.
‘But I can’t remember all the details, there are some things that run together.’
Scotty said when he chose to share his own experience of sexual abuse the room ‘went silent’.