By Sonia Moghe and Amir Vera, CNN
One of the seated jurors in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial may have lied on a jury questionnaire form, according to a newly unsealed copy of the form.
Jurors were explicitly asked on jury questionnaire forms if they had been sexually abused and, if so, would it impact their abilities to be impartial while deliberating.
In interviews with multiple media outlets shortly after the verdict, the juror, who identified himself only as Scotty David, said he was sexually abused as a child.
However, according to a copy of the form the juror filled out and that was posted publicly Thursday, the juror marked “no” when asked if he or a family member had been “the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual assault.”
The juror did not answer the follow-up question on the form that asked if they selected had “yes,” did they believe the experience would affect their “ability to serve fairly and impartially as a juror in this case?”
In the questionnaire, which the juror signed using only his juror number, it states that he declares his answers “true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief” under penalty of perjury.
David gave his first interview to The Independent but also spoke to the Daily Mail and Reuters. He told Reuters that some jurors had issues with the memories of two accusers who took the stand, so he said he shared his own experience with fellow jurors, noting that it helped sway their views.
“When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse,” the juror said in his Reuters interview.
Maxwell’s attorneys have argued that because they believe the juror lied on his questionnaire, Maxwell is entitled to a new trial. US District Judge Alison Nathan denied Maxwell’s request for a new trial based on the current record, saying the current record “relies extensively” on statements from the juror involving deliberations that the court is “prohibited from considering.”
Nathan emphasized in her ruling Thursday that the “potential impropriety” is whether the juror lied on his juror questionnaire, not his history of surviving abuse.
“To be clear, the potential impropriety is not that someone with a history of sexual abuse may have served on the jury,” Nathan said in the order. “Rather, it is the potential failure to respond truthfully to questions during the jury selection process that asked for that material information so that any potential bias could be explored.”
Nathan has ordered David to testify under oath about the questionnaire on March 8. CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.
Nathan said in her ruling that she would conduct the questioning at the public hearing with input from prosecutors and defense attorneys, who have been asked to submit questions.
Maxwell, the former girlfriend and close associate of Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted in December 2021 of sex trafficking a minor and four other charges for her role in facilitating Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 and 2004. Maxwell could face up to 65 years in prison and is expected to be sentenced at a later date.
Maxwell’s attorneys had requested to question a second juror who told The New York Times they had also been sexually abused — a request that Nathan denied.
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CNN’s Laura Ly and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.