A juror for Ghislaine Maxwell could be granted immunity to testify if he lied on a pretrial form


Michelle Markus

Justice Alison J. Nathan (right) and Ghislaine Maxwell (left) are shown in a sketch of the courtroom. Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

  • A juror for Ghislaine Maxwell is to testify if he lied on his pre-trial form.

  • Maxwell’s attorneys want a new trial, arguing that she was deprived of a fair and impartial jury.

  • The juror indicated that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right but could be granted immunity.

The juror who challenged Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction by revealing his history of sex abuse to the media will attend a hearing on Tuesday where a federal judge will ask him under oath if he will talk about his past lied to get on the jury.

Juror No. 50, who publicly identifies himself as Scotty David, told multiple media outlets in January that he based the jury’s deliberations on his own experiences as a sexual abuse survivor and convinced several other jurors to believe the witnesses who testified against Maxwell.

However, David twice answered “no” on his pre-trial questionnaire when asked if he or his loved ones had ever been a victim of crime or sexual abuse, according to an unsealed copy of his questionnaire last week.

US District Judge Alison Nathan ordered David to appear at a March 8 hearing to testify under oath as to whether he was honest in his jury questionnaire, but David’s attorney said in court filings dated March 2 the charge.

Prosecutors then said they would grant immunity to juror #50, according to court documents. Jury expert Jill Huntley Taylor of Taylor Trial Consulting questioned this strategy, saying, “It suggests that prosecutors may know more about this than the rest of us.”

“It’s hard to understand giving this jury immunity to know the whole truth, which is probably more than that he made a mistake,” Huntley Taylor told Insider. “Was he a stealth juror planning to come on the jury and find Maxwell guilty?”

Although experience of sexual abuse does not automatically disqualify someone from serving on a jury, defense attorneys often use the pretrial questionnaires to weed out potential jurors who may have prejudices against the defendant.

David’s disclosures to the media prompted Maxwell’s defense attorneys to call for a new trial for their client, saying Maxwell was denied her right to be tried by a fair and impartial jury. David has said of his attorney in court filings that he “does not recall answering questions about his past experiences of sexual assault.”

Jury experts have previously told Insiders that there are often innocuous explanations for why jurors are not honest during the jury selection process. For example, sometimes people skim questions and don’t read them thoroughly, and others don’t recognize their past experiences as sexual abuse until they sit on a jury and hear details about sexual abuse.

But Huntley Taylor said whatever juror No. 50 revealed during Tuesday’s testimony would likely not change Maxwell’s attorneys’ efforts to have her conviction overturned.

“Regardless of what you think of Maxwell, like any criminal defendant, she is entitled to a fair and impartial jury; The inability to question this juror about a very relevant life experience, and whether that would affect him in this case, the defense will argue, has deprived them of that right,” said Huntley Taylor.

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