#minorsextrafficking | Prosecutors say they’ll drop two more charges against Ghislaine Maxwell if the judge denies her a new trial


Ghislaine Maxwell in 2013.Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

  • Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking, but still has two perjury charges pending against her.

  • Prosecutors said they’re prepared to dismiss those charges if she doesn’t get a retrial.

  • Maxwell’s defense lawyers asked for a retrial after a juror disclosed his own experience as a sexual abuse victim.

Prosecutors have offered to drop two pending perjury charges against convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell if last month’s guilty verdict holds up.

“In the event the defendant’s post-trial motions are denied, the Government is prepared to dismiss the severed perjury counts at the time of sentencing, in light of the victims’ significant interests in bringing closure to this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again,” prosecutors wrote in a joint letter filed to court Monday night.

A jury found Maxwell guilty of five of the sex child-sex-trafficking charges brought against her in December. But the verdict is now in jeopardy, after a juror told members of the media that he was sexually abused as a child and discussed this experience during jury deliberations.

Juror #50 — who spoke publicly under his first and middle name, Scotty David — did not appear to have disclosed his experience on a juror questionnaire, and the judge did not question him about it during the voir dire part of jury selection. According to The Daily Mail, Maxwell’s attorneys believe at least three jurors did not disclose their experiences with sexual abuse on the juror forms.

Video: R. Kelly found guilty of sex trafficking

Maxwell’s attorneys argued the juror’s disclosure warrants a retrial, which many legal experts believe is likely. They have also asked that all the jurors in the case be questioned about David, who could face criminal charges if he lied while filling out his juror form.

In the joint letter, Maxwell’s attorneys said a sentencing hearing shouldn’t be scheduled and that Maxwell should not participate in a sentencing report until the juror issue is resolved.

“Requiring Ms. Maxwell to participate in the preparation of the Presentence Investigation Report, while she is awaiting a decision on her motion for a new trial, will adversely impact her Fifth Amendment rights,” they wrote. “Ms. Maxwell will be forced into the position of not cooperating with the Probation Department’s investigation because any statement she makes to Probation, and any documents she provides, may be used against her at her retrial.”

US District Judge Alison Nathan, who’s overseeing the case, last week ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys to file letters briefing her on the juror issue over the next month.

David has hired the attorney Todd Spodek, best known for representing the fake heiress Anna Sorokin, to represent him in the proceedings.

Prosecutors say Maxwell lied in a deposition

In addition to the six charges Maxwell has already been tried on, prosecutors also brought two perjury charges against her in 2019.

They alleged she lied in a deposition about her knowledge of and participation in disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s scheme to recruit and sexually abuse underage women, and of her own participation in the abuse.

The deposition was taken for a civil lawsuit against Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused Maxwell and Epstein of sexual misconduct. Giuffre was not brought as a witness in Maxwell’s criminal trial.

Prosecutors initially planned to request a schedule for a trial on the perjury charges following the verdict on the sex-trafficking charges. In the joint letter, they asked for a sentencing hearing to be held in April or May, and for the judge to dismiss the perjury counts at that time.

A representative for Giuffre declined to comment to Insider. A representative for Giuffre’s attorneys did not immediately respond Tuesday to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Insider



Source link