A victim of Ghislaine Maxwell might not testify if the disgraced socialist is awarded a second trial because she does not think she could ‘go through it again’.
Lawyers for Maxwell, 60, launched an appeal for a retrial last week due to a juror’s possible failure to disclose that he was sexually abused as a child before the trial.
Her attorneys said they have filed a motion for retrial under seal, but referenced Juror No. 50, known as Scotty David, who opened up about his traumatic past.
Maxwell, who was found guilty last month of five counts of child sex trafficking and faces up to 65 years in jail when she is sentenced in June, is currently in solitary confinement at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Centre.
She is on suicide watch, allowed only paper clothing and is not allowed books.
If the motion for retrial is granted, though, prosecutors would have to put forward a case without one of four key witnesses, or find other alleged victims.
A representative of one of the women, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she did not think she could ‘go through it again’, The Telegraph reports.
Ghislaine Maxwell on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet. The picture was entered into evidence after being recovered by FBI during a raid at Epstein’s mansion
Maxwell turns to sketch court sketch artist Jane Rosenberg during her trial in New York last month
Maxwell’s lawyers said there were ‘incontrovertible grounds’ for a new trial after juror Scotty David (above) said he described being abused as a child during deliberations
Maxwell, 60, was convicted on five federal charges related to sex trafficking last month for her role facilitating sex predator Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse. She faces 65 years in prison
She added: ‘A lot of the trauma resurfaced for her, and all these women.
‘It took so much for them to do it the first time, I think reliving it would be too much. The situation is very unfortunate.’
Several women who gave evidence at the trial in New York did not come forward publicly until decades after the offences, with three agreeing to testify under pseudonyms to protect their identities.
Carolyn Andriano, 35, waived her anonymity in an interview following the trial.
She said she ‘wanted people to know these terrible things have happened to me and that I am a survivor’.
Her mother added that the case had taken a huge toll on the mother-of-four, who had been unable to look after her children.
A second victim, who gave evidence under the name Jane, told the court she delayed coming forward with allegations over fears of repercussions for her acting career.
Prosecutors, who have requested that US District Judge Alison Nathan conduct an inquiry into the juror’s statements, will have until February 2 to respond to Maxwell’s motion.
Legal experts say that Maxwell would not be guaranteed a new trial even if the juror did not disclose his abuse on the questionnaire, noting that cases of juror dishonesty that led to verdicts being overturned generally involved jurors who deliberately lied in order to be selected.
Maxwell was at one point Epstein’s lover, but their complicated relationship evolved to her managing his household staff
And one former prosecutor said the US Government could even mount a stronger case against Maxwell at a second trial.
Brad Edwards, a lawyer who represented a number of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, echoed the view, saying: ‘Since the verdict, more people have come for ward, willing to share their stories and testify, so I don’t think a new trial would go any better for her.’
According to former Federal Prosecutor David Weinstein, now a partner in Miami based law firm Jones Walker, all jurors may now be interviewed, specifically the two jurors who have shared their stories publicly.
He said that the admissions would not necessarily be considered automatic grounds for a mistrial but that it would, at the very least, be ‘an arrow in the quiver’ for Maxwell’s appeal.
Maxwell has a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 28.