Will rogue juror set Ghislaine Maxwell free? Conviction is in chaos as juror who admitted he was a sex abuse victim has lawyered up and defense demands mistrial
- Scotty David was No. 50 on the jury that convicted Maxwell of sex trafficking
- Following the trial, he revealed that he has a history of being sexually abused that he shared with other jury members and told DailyMail.com that a second juror did likewise
- He has now rejected prosecutors’ offer to appoint counsel for him and has hired his own lawyer, Todd Spodek, after rejecting a government-appointed counsel
- He spoke with DailyMail.com in an interview on Tuesday and was asked if he had revealed his own experience of sexual abuse in the juror questionnaire
- He said: ‘No they don’t ask your sexual abuse history. They didn’t ask it in the questionnaire’ – but question 48 of the document does ask if you are a victim
- In another interview David said that he, ‘flew through’ the juror questionnaire
- An expert has since said David’s interviews were ‘an absolute disaster’ and there is a very real possibility that Maxwell’s conviction could be tossed
The rogue juror whose admission that he was a victim of sexual abuse has thrown the Ghislaine Maxwell conviction into chaos has lawyered up over the disastrous fall-out of his revelations, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Juror Scotty David rejected prosecutors’ offer to appoint counsel for him when they called for a court investigation in an apparent attempt to get ahead of events branded ‘a disaster’ by legal experts.
Instead, New York based lawyer Todd Spodek, who represented ‘fake heiress’ Anna Sorokin, informed the court that he had been appointed counsel for Juror 50 and that his client was rejecting its offer of counsel.
David was the first of two jurors to step up with his story of sexual abuse and the role that sharing it played in deliberations.
He first told DailyMail.com that he had not revealed this history during jury selection because it had not been asked on the juror questionnaire.
When it was pointed out that question 48 of the 50 asked exactly that question, he then claimed that he did not remember it but had answered all questions ‘honestly.’
He told other outlets that he, ‘flew through’ the questionnaire.
He also revealed that a second juror had shared their own story of sexual abuse, a claim later verified by the juror who wished to remain anonymous.
Juror Scotty David rejected prosecutors’ offer to appoint counsel for him when they called for a court investigation in an apparent attempt to get ahead of events branded ‘a disaster’ by legal experts
Scotty’s admission has thrown Maxwell’s conviction into chaos as her defense team is calling for a new trial
Maxwell’s lawyers have been bullish in their insistence that no investigation is necessary, calling instead for a new trial and claiming that the statements that both jurors have now made publicly across multiple news outlets are ‘incontrovertible grounds’ for a mistrial.
Judge Alison Nathan has stated that she will hear briefings from all parties as the high-profile prosecution hovers on the brink of implosion.
He has now rejected prosecutors’ offer to appoint counsel for him and has hired his own lawyer, Todd Spodek
Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Insider, that David and the second jurors’ decision to speak out was, ‘absolutely the last thing you want when you get a guilty verdict. It’s an absolute disaster.’
Maxwell was convicted on five out of six counts of sexual trafficking in a verdict that came at the end of the fifth day of deliberations and proceedings that lasted four weeks.
If the convictions stand, the 60-year-old ex-socialite faces up to 65 years in prison.
But now, according to Rahmani, ‘This entire conviction may get tossed and we may have to retry the case.’
David and the second juror’s admission pose two potential issues – perjury, or lying under oath and prejudice, or a preconceived opinion that may have improperly swayed the jury.
According to Maxwell’s lawyers it makes no difference whether either or both jurors deliberately or simply mistakenly failed to correctly answer the juror questionnaire when asked, ‘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 were three boxes to tick by way of answer: Yes (self), Yes (friend or family member) and No.
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
Questioned by DailyMail.com David could remember only a question relating to friends or family members and colored up when pressed about any answer relating to his own sexual history.
Last week Maxwell was found guilty on five of six charges and faces 65 years in prison
According to former Federal Prosecutor David S Weinstein, now a partner in Miami based law firm Jones Walker, all jurors may now be interviewed and specifically the two jurors who have shared their stories publicly.
He said that the admissions would not necessarily be considered automatic grounds for a mistrial but that it would, at the very least, be ‘an arrow in the quiver’ for Maxwell’s appeal.
He said, ‘There’s going to be a record of whether or not he was asked that question, what his answer was, whether there were any follow up questions. Maxwell’s lawyer will have this questionnaire and they will go back to it.’
DailyMail.com has already established that whatever David answered on the questionnaire it did not elicit any follow up questions at the interview or ‘voir dire’ stage of jury selection.
David told DailyMail.com, ‘It was never raised. 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. It was literally like 30 seconds long and then I was out of the room.’
Conversely when he shared his story in the jury room on day three of deliberations, he recalled ‘the room went silent.’
According to David his own sharing led a second juror to share their story. His experience, he said, allowed him to better understand the victims who testified and parlay that into a better understanding in jurors who were not convinced of the victims’ credibility.
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
According to Weinstein lawyers will want to know if he answered ‘no’ to the question about being a sexual assault victim whether it was inadvertent or intentional.
He said, ‘Was this something that was done intentionally to hide the fact that was what he was? If he says I didn’t do it intentionally maybe he say I got this big questionnaire and ticked these boxes. I made a mistake. I didn’t come in wanting to be on the jury.’
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
David told DailyMail.com that he was ‘quite excited’ to be selected for jury duty and that when he discovered that he had been called for selection for the Maxwell trial he was, ‘shocked.’
He said, ‘I thought this is incredible. If I get selected for this that would be an honor.’
He added, ‘I honestly didn’t know much about her or Jeffery Epstein going into it. I didn’t know who Jeffery Epstein was until he died.’
If Maxwell’s lawyer were aware of David and the second juror’s history and failed to pick up on it, or to consider its possible implications, Weinstein pointed out, ‘that’s on them.’
He said, ‘Being a victim of sexual abuse doesn’t disqualify you from being a juror…Even if it did influence the way the jury voted, they’re not asking people to put aside they’re life experience during deliberations.
‘They’re asking them to use that to determine proof beyond reasonable doubt and apply it to the facts.’
But while Weinstein took the view that the revelations did not automatically mean the tossing of Maxwell’s verdict or a retrial he admitted, ‘This is certainly another arrow in the quiver of the defense team. It’s a bit of a bombshell.’
Source: Read Full Article