Juror Who Jeopardized Ghislaine Maxwell Guilty Verdict Makes Belated Decision To STFU
Hey, wasn't that Ghislaine Maxwell trial fun? Wouldn't it be just awesome for the victims to have to go through the whole thing again? And what a wonderful use of court and taxpayer resources if they wind up having to retry this woman, right? Well, thanks to the antics of one juror, Ghislaine Maxwell's guilty verdict now looks to be in doubt.
DAMMIT, JUROR 50!
To recap, on December 29, a jury found Jeffrey Epstein's former partner guilty of five counts of facilitating the sexual abuse of minors. Subsequently, a juror going by "Scotty David" gave several media interviews in which he claimed to be a survivor of child sex abuse who used his own lived experiences to persuade his fellow jurors that the witnesses against Maxwell were credible.
He also embarked on a publicity tour, telling The Independent, "This verdict is for all the victims. For those who testified, for those who came forward and for those who haven’t come forward. I’m glad that Maxwell has been held accountable."
“After all I’ve learned, she’s just as guilty as Epstein," he told the Daily Mail. "I don’t want to call her a monster, but a predator is the right word. She knew what was happening. She knew what Epstein was doing and she allowed it to happen. She participated in getting these girls comfortable so that he could have his way with them."
Which was distinctly not helpful, because not only had "Scotty David" failed to disclose the abuse on his juror questionnaire — and they did ask — but he gave every appearance of harboring bias toward the defendant, both personally and as an abuse survivor.
Maxwell's attorneys immediately demanded a mistrial, and US District Judge Alison Nathan ordered briefing and scheduled a hearing on the matter for March 8. Today, lawyers for "Scotty David" (AKA Juror 50, AKA that bloody idiot) informed the court that their client will assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination next week, since he's now facing possible perjury charges for having lied on his jury form.
In response, the government sent its own letter to the court informing Judge Nathan that the DOJ is "in the process of seeking internal approval to seek an order, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 6002 and 6003, compelling Juror 50’s testimony at the hearing." In plain English, they're going to offer him immunity, and he's going to have to tell the court how he used his own abuse to persuade his fellow jurors to credit the witnesses. And he'll have to explain if and/or why he lied about it to get on the jury. After which the court will decide whether Maxwell is entitled to a new trial.
And you know what? If I were holding the gavel, I'd give it to her! This is simply not how shit is supposed to go in American courts. A juror who considers himself a victim advocate taints the entire process, and that's more important than any one verdict. With the best will in the world, "Scotty David's" shenanigans will likely cause total chaos and more pain for Maxwell's victims.
LSS, don't lie on your jury forms. Seriously, just don't.
[US v. Maxwell, Docket via Court Listener]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.