Ghislaine Maxwell and her lead defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim could have grounds for a mistrial.
Speaking to media for the first time, a juror indicated that he had suffered past abuse and that this had informed his decision.
A legal expert told The Telegraph the convicted socialite, 60, may have the ability to file for a mistrial after one of the jurors in her sex-trafficking trial revealed he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
Maxwell was found guilty last month on five out of six sex trafficking related charges, including: conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor.
Update Jan 5 : A letter was filed this day requesting a new trial based on the juror’s claims.
The juror in question publicly revealed after the verdict that he was a survivor of sexual abuse and indicated his experience had played a part in his decision to convict Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend.
Former federal New York prosecutor Moira Penza told the outlet that if this fact was not fully disclosed during the pre-jury selection questionnaire, this “could definitely be an issue.”
“I certainly hope the juror disclosed this fully on his questionnaire,” the legal mind reportedly shared. “A little strange the defense didn’t strike him.”
“In the first instance it would likely form the basis for a motion to Judge (Alison) Nathan for a new trial,” Penza added, per the outlet.
The juror — who publicly declared himself as Scotty David — reportedly explained to Lucia Osborne-Crowley of Law360 that his past traumatic experiences with sexual abuse made him believe Maxwell’s four victims.
“This verdict is for all the victims. For those who testified, for those who came forward and for those who haven’t come forward,” David reportedly said of his vote during the trial. “I’m glad that Maxwell has been held accountable. This verdict shows that you can be found guilty no matter your status.”
Maxwell’s legal team has already declared its intention to appeal, however, it has not laid out the legal grounds.
A judge may declare a mistrial in a criminal case for several reasons, including lack of jurisdiction and incorrect jury selection. When a mistrial occurs, the proceedings become null and void, however a new trial may then be heard.