The juror in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial whose press comments may result in a new trial for the convicted socialite works as an executive assistant at private-equity giant Carlyle Group Inc.
In video and newspaper interviews since the Dec. 29 verdict, the juror said he was a victim of sex abuse as a child and that his story helped sway other members of the panel who questioned the credibility of some of Maxwell’s accusers. Maxwell, the former girlfriend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted on five of six counts related to a sex-trafficking scheme and faces as many as 65 years in prison.
The verdict was widely hailed as offering long-delayed justice to victims of Epstein, who died in 2019 while awaiting his own trial. Maxwell’s lawyers are now seeking a new trial on the grounds that the juror did not disclose his previous abuse when asked during the jury selection process. Judge Alison Nathan has asked both prosecutors and defense to submit briefs on whether a new trial is needed because Maxwell did not have an impartial jury.
Maxwell Judge to Consider New Trial Over Juror Comments
Todd Spodek, an attorney for the juror, didn’t respond to requests for comment, nor did the juror — who identified himself in the press as Scotty David, his first and middle names.
“The individual is an executive assistant at Carlyle,” a spokesperson for the firm said in a statement. “We do not comment on employee personal matters.”
Scotty David said in an interview with Reuters that he “flew through” the selection process and didn’t remember being asked about past sexual abuse, though he said he would have answered honestly if asked. Prospective jurors had to fill out a questionnaire that specifically asked if they or anyone close to them had previously been victims of sexual abuse.
While those questionnaires remain under seal, any prospective juror who’d said they were victims were privately questioned by Nathan and the lawyers, with the comments later sealed. Scotty David had no such sealed questioning.
The identities of the Maxwell jurors were protected during the trial. Scotty David, who was known as Juror No. 50, described himself on his questionnaire as a 35-year-old Manhattan resident who worked as an executive assistant at a financial firm.
Separately, the New York Times reported Wednesday that it had interviewed another juror who said they had been a victim of sexual abuse and discussed it during the deliberations that led to Maxwell’s conviction.
Four women testified at Maxwell’s trial that they were abused as teenagers by Maxwell and Epstein. Scotty David told the Daily Mail that he approached the trial with an open mind about Maxwell but eventually decided she was as guilty as Epstein.
“I don’t want to call her a monster, but a predator is the right word,” he told the tabloid.
Following his interviews, prosecutors asked the judge for an inquiry into Scotty David’s comments. Maxwell’s lawyers said the judge should skip straight to ordering a new trial.
“It is clear to Ms. Maxwell that based on” the juror’s record of remarks “a new trial is required”, the attorneys wrote in a letter.