Ghislaine Maxwell has suffered another legal blow.
According to CNBC, the 60-year-old socialite lost her bid for a new trial in connection to the Jeffrey Epstein sex crime case. The news comes about three months after Maxwell was found guilty of helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls for sexual abuse. She was ultimately convicted on five federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. She now faces up to 65 years in prison.
Weeks after her conviction, Maxwell’s legal team submitted a motion for a new trial, citing concerns that one of the jurors had provided a false answer on a pretrial screening questionnaire. The juror admitted he failed to disclose he had been experienced sexual abuse as a child, and had shared his survivor story with other jurors.
“This is one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life,” the juror, identified as Scotty David, told the court earlier this month, adding he “flew through” the questionnaire was “super distracted” by the events in the jury room.
Maxwell’s attorneys argued that the juror’s decision to share his experience may have affected the trial’s outcome. They expressed concern Scotty David’s account may have caused the rest of the jury to become sympathetic toward Maxwell’s accusers, thus resulting in an unfair trial.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan was convinced.
“His failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was highly unfortunate, but not deliberate,” Nathan wrote in her ruling. “The Court further concludes that Juror 50 harbored no bias toward the Defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror.”
Maxwell’s attorneys say the intend to appeal the guilty verdict.