Ghislaine Maxwell juror granted immunity to testify after threatening to plead the Fifth

Juror will now be questioned over apparent failure to reveal own history of abuse in pre-trial questionnaire

<p>Jeffrey Epstein Maxwell Trial</p>

Jeffrey Epstein Maxwell Trial

The Department of Justice has granted immunity to the juror in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial whose comments about his own history of sexual abuse appeared to contradict his statements at jury selection.

The decision paves the way for the juror, identified as Scotty David, to testify at a hearing about the alleged discrepancy later on Tuesday.

The development comes after a last-minute filing on Monday by the Manhattan federal prosecutors, in a bid to compel the juror to answer questions fully and under oath during Tuesday’s hearing.

The juror had indicated through his attorney Todd Spodek that he was going to invoke the 5th Amendment, to avoid self-incrimination.

British socialite Maxwell, the former partner of Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted by a US court in December of sex trafficking a minor and on four other counts for her role in facilitating sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 to 2004 at the hands of Epstein.

Her sentencing is scheduled for June and she faces up to 65 years in jail.

Controversy surrounded the juror involved in Tuesday’s hearing after he conducted several post-trial media interviews in which he revealed that he drew on his own history of being sexually abused.

The juror allegedly failed to note this personal history on a questionnaire during the jury selection process. He also described how he persuaded some fellow jurors during deliberations that a victim’s memory of abuse does not imply the abuse did not happen.

Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that the failure to disclose his history, which he widely discussed in media interviews, was grounds for the convictions to be dismissed and a retrial to be ordered.

But the judge said the court could not do so without questioning the juror.

The juror had ticked “No” on the screening form in early November that asked: “Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?”

He also ticked no to the question which asked: “Have you, or any of your relatives or close friends, ever been a victim of a crime?”

In an interview with The Independent after the trial, Scotty David said sharing his experiences of sexual abuse had helped the jury believe that Maxwell’s victims were telling the truth. He later said that he was just rushing through the questions in the questionnaire and did not remember being asked that particular question.

Epstein died by suicide in prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking offences.

More follows

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in