When jurors answer pre-trial questionnaires, a lack of truthfulness about personal events can potentially cast a jury decision in debt.
In December 2021, a jury unanimously found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five out of six charges related to her participation in sex trafficking on behalf of her former lover and employer, Jeffrey Epstein.
Ghislaine’s attorneys say that juror Scotty David didn’t reveal in a pre-trial questionnaire that he was a child sex abuse victim. Judge Alison Nathan ordered an inquiry to determine whether or not David honestly answered the questionnaire. If he did not answer truthfully, Maxwell’s legal team could move for a mistrial.
The judge scheduled the inquiry for March 8. Maxwell’s lawyers are asking the judge to postpone the inquiry until May. The attorneys say they have other commitments in March. Government prosecutors are pushing back and say any delay would affect the victims’ right to a fast resolution. According to them a delay of the inquiry could push back the convicted sex trafficker’s sentencing hearing in June. US attorneys believe that Maxwell’s conviction is unlikely to be overturned in a new trial, and any delay in the process only benefits Maxwell short-term at the expense of her victims.
The juror says he answered all questions honestly. Still, he plans to take the 5th Amendment. Prosecutors say they are working with David on a grant of immunity from prosecution so that he can speak freely to the court about his answers on the pre-trial questionnaire.