Ghislaine Maxwell trial juror intends to take 5th in court

Prosecutors told the court they could grant the juror immunity from testifying.

One of the jurors who convicted Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell of sex trafficking in December plans to present the Fifth Amendment at a hearing next week regarding his role on the jury, according to a report. letter from the juror’s attorney made public on Wednesday.

“I am writing to advise the Court that juror 50 will invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination during the hearing,” wrote Todd Spodek, an attorney for the juror.

Spodek did not respond to an ABC News request for comment.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan last week ordered Juror 50, a 35-year-old Manhattan resident, to appear in federal court on March 8 for an investigation focused on his answers during jury selection and his post-trial interviews, in which he disclosed his alleged personal experience as a victim of childhood sexual abuse.

Last week, Nathan denied Maxwell’s request for a new trial based on the current record, but ordered the juror to appear in court to answer questions under oath. The court also unsealed the juror’s answers to a written jury questionnaire, showing the juror answered “no” to a question asking if he had ever been sexually harassed, assaulted or abused.

In response to the juror’s attorney’s letter, federal prosecutors informed the court that they were “in the process of obtaining internal approval” to grant the juror immunity, thereby compelling him to testify at the court. hearing. Subject to that approval, the government said it would submit a proposed order to the judge ahead of the hearing, according to a letter from prosecutors that was filed with the court.

Juror 50 gave several interviews in the days following Maxwell’s sentencing in late December. Identified in the media using his first and middle name, Scotty David, he told Reuters, The Daily Mail and The Independent that during a critical stage of deliberations he shared his experiences of sexual abuse in his childhood.

He has claimed in interviews that his personal thoughts helped convince some skeptical jurors that the main prosecution witnesses – the four women who testified to Maxwell’s role in their sexual abuse – could be believed.

“I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember [color] carpet, walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video,” he said in an interview with The Independent. “But I can’t remember all the details, there are things that go together.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted of five counts, including sex trafficking and conspiracy to induce minors to travel for illegal sexual activities between 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors portrayed Maxwell and Epstein, the millionaire financier who died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial as a child. charges of sex trafficking, as “partners in crime who sexually exploited young girls together”.

Lawyers for Maxwell, who have structured his defense largely on challenges to the reliability of his accusers’ recollections, say that if Juror 50 had disclosed his history of child sexual abuse during jury selection, he would almost certainly have been discarded.

Maxwell has been held at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since her arrest in July 2020.

ABC News

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