Prosecutors offered to drop perjury charges against Ghislaine Maxwell if she would relinquish her request for another trial.
by Maibort Petit
Federal prosecutors told the court that they were willing to drop the pending charges of perjury against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell if she does not go to trial again. The ex-girlfriend and ex-employee of Jeffrey Epstein could avoid a new accusation if she accepts that her sentence for crimes of sex trafficking of minors is carried out this year and does not insist on seeking the nullity of the trial that concluded in December. of 2021.
The government sent a communication to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan for the Southern District of New York on Monday. In the face of prosecutors' unusual offer, Maxwell's defense said the perjury charges should be delayed until the court rules on the request for a new trial because of allegations by Scotty David, one of the jurors who allegedly committed crimes of perjury and prejudice.
Scotty David revealed to the English press that he had influenced the opinion of other jurors during the week-long deliberations, recounting that he was sexually abused as a child. After telling his story, jurors who were unconvinced by the evidence (testimonies) of Maxwell's accusers were persuaded and eventually changed their minds to convict the defendant.
David claimed he was not asked about his history of sexual abuse during the jury selection process. But in fact, all potential jurors were asked multiple questions about their past experiences with sexual abuse and warned that their answers could be taken into account in determining their ability to be impartial.
Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of recruiting teenagers between 1994 and 2004 for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
The two perjury charges prosecutors are in a separate case that is based on the allegation that Maxwell allegedly lied under oath in a 2016 affidavit that she gave in a defamation case brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein's accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in the Southern District of New York.
Maxwell has denied all charges since the start of his trial, and her lawyers have claimed that she became the scapegoat for prosecutors because they failed to prosecute Epstein for sex crimes because the millionaire committed suicide in the Manhattan jail before trial.
Maxwell's lawyers asked Judge Nathan to declare null and void the trial in which the jury found her guilty of 5 of the 6 crimes for which the British socialite was tried.
The juror claimed he was not asked about his history of sexual abuse during the jury selection process. But in fact, prospective jurors were asked multiple questions about their past experiences with sexual abuse and warned that their answers could be taken into account in determining their ability to be impartial.
In the petition for a mistrial, the defense argues that the jury lied to the jury-selecting panel by concealing its sexual abuse history, thereby compromising the entire process.
The U.S. government supported the court's decision to investigate the facts alleged in the press, including offering legal representation service to the juror who could be charged with crimes of perjury and prejudice. Likewise, prosecutors have asked Judge Nathan to say the date of the conviction for the spring.
Judge Nathan has not yet responded to the defense's request but vowed to conduct an investigation into possible jury misconduct.
Prosecutors warned that should they "deny the defendant's post-trial motions, the government is prepared to dismiss the perjury charges separately at sentencing time, in light of the victims' important interests in closing this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again."
It is clear that prosecutors do not want to go to trial again, although experts have pointed out that it is very possible that the defense's argument could lead to Judge Nathan deciding to annul the trial and prevent the Court of Appeals from declaring the right to a new trial.
Ghislaine Maxwell faces two counts of allegedly lying under oath in a 2016 affidavit she gave in a defamation case brought against her by Jeffrey Epstein's accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in the Southern District of New York.
Maxwell faces a maximum sentence of up to 65 years in prison.
About the Author
Maibort Petit is a Venezuelan writer, researcher and political scientist specialized in Transnational Organized Crime. Based in New York, she works for various Hispanic media outlets and as a consultant for various firms in New York and Washington DC.
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