One of the jurors who helped convict the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell of sex trafficking said Tuesday his failure to disclose before the trial that he was abused as child was “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life.”
“I didn’t lie in order to get on this jury,” the juror, identified during the hearing only as No. 50, answered as U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan for the Southern District of New York peppered him with questions about why he didn’t reveal the abuse on a questionnaire during the jury selection process.
“If I could have gone back and gone slower, I would have in a heartbeat, it wasn’t on purpose or intentional,” he said.
The lawyers for Maxwell, who was in the Manhattan courtroom and has been behind bars while awaiting sentencing, said that they would have objected to having him serve on the jury and that the verdict should be thrown out.
Nathan has given both sides until March 15 to file legal briefs on whether the verdict should be set aside.
Questions about the juror’s impartiality were raised after Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidant was convicted in December and after the juror divulged in media interviews that he had been sexually abused as a child.
Identified in the interviews with British media by his first and middle names, Scotty David, the juror said he told other members of the panel about his experience after some voiced doubt about the credibility of witnesses Jane and Carolyn.
Those are pseudonyms for two of the four women who testified that Maxwell groomed them for sex with Epstein when they were teenagers.
The juror, who agreed to appear before Nathan only after being assured he would not be prosecuted, is under fire for failing to answer yes to question 48 on the jury form, which asks potential panelists if they or a friend or a family member had ever been sexually harassed or abused.
The juror said he should have disclosed that he was abused as a child by a stepbrother when he was 9 and 10. He said he didn’t tell anyone until he was in high school when he told his mother who contacted the police, but no charges were ever filed.