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06th Apr 2022

Ghislaine Maxwell’s family “shocked” as retrial is denied

She was charged in December last year.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s family have said that they are “profoundly shocked and troubled” after a judge rejected a new trial for their sister who was charged with sex trafficking despite a juror at her trial failing to disclose he had been sexually abused as a child.

The Maxwell Family said in a statement that they were focused on an appeal against US District Judge Alison J Nathan’s ruling that said Maxwell’s conviction would remain on the charges that she was a key recruiter of teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein who were then sexually abused from 1994 to 2004.

The judge said in December of last year that the verdict found to convict the 60 year old was still valid as the juror did not deliberately give incorrect answers when on the juror questionnaire, and he “harboured no bias toward the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror.”

“Our family is profoundly shocked and troubled by the denial of a retrial for our sister, Ghislaine Maxwell,” Maxwell family members said. “The court’s ruling in this matter is as tainted as the original verdict is unsafe.”

The statement continued, adding that due to Juror No 50’s revelations to the media later, there will be many issues that will be appealed to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

“Our Family is optimistic about Ghislaine’s success on appeal,” they added.

The juror in question gave media interviews days after the verdict, saying publicly that he had been abused as a child and told other jurors that a victim’s imperfect memory of abuse does not mean it didn’t happen.

He and other jurors were asked to fill out a 50-page questionnaire including a question that asked: “Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?” ahead of the trial, where the juror said “no”, which he later said he did not remember being asked.

While a new trial has been denied, the judge conducted a hearing where she questioned the juror, and his answers were then analysed by the judge before her decision on Friday.

“Juror 50’s lack of attention and care in responding accurately to every question on the questionnaire is regrettable, but the Court is confident that the failure to disclose was not deliberate,” she wrote.

“The Court further finds that Juror 50 was not biased and would not have been stricken for cause even if he had answered each question on the questionnaire accurately.”