Less than a month after being found guilty on sex trafficking charges, Gislaine Maxwell has requested a new trial.
Bobbi Sternheim, the lawyer for Maxwell, wrote to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan on Wednesday to inform her that the motion for a new trial had been filed under seal and to ensure that everything regarding “Juror No. 50” remains classified until decisions are made.
In media interviews following the verdict, the juror said that he had been abused as a child. Maxwell’s lawyers had promised Maxwell a new trial, saying they were concerned about the interview. His experience helped him convince some jurors that despite a victim’s imperfect memory, sexual abuse did not occur. He was anonymously quoted in The Independent and The Daily Mail as saying that.
Maxwell’s lawyers had been given a deadline of Wednesday for a new trial filing, and Nathan asked the prosecution to reply by February 2.
The 60-year-old woman was convicted of conspiring to recruit and groom teen girls for sexual abuse by her longtime companion Jeffrey Epstein in late December. Her sentencing date has not yet been set.
The lawyers for Maxwell had previously said that the new trial request would include all undisputed statements made by the jurors, as well as the statements recorded and the questionnaire that each juror filled out.
As a part of the jury selection process, prospective jurors were asked: “Have you or someone in your family or circle suffered sexual harassment, domestic abuse, or assault?”
A letter from prosecutors quoted press reports as saying the juror said he had “flew through” the questionnaire and didn’t recall being asked whether he had been victimized by abuse. According to prosecutors, any investigation of a juror “must take place exclusively under the supervision of the Court.” The juror himself has retained a lawyer.
Her family has promised to appeal her conviction, and Maxwell has maintained her innocence. She was acquitted during her trial after a team of lawyers argued that she was being used as a scapegoat by prosecutors who wanted to hold someone accountable for Epstein’s crimes as he killed himself awaiting trial in 2019 after pleading guilty to sexual crimes.