Ghislaine Maxwell juror in mistrial saga hires ‘fake heiress’ lawyer

Ghislaine Maxwell juror in mistrial saga hires ‘fake heiress’ lawyer

The juror at the centre of Ghislaine Maxwell’s bid for a mistrial has hired a lawyer who represented a notorious “fake heiress”, after he was advised by the US government to seek legal representation.

Todd Spodek will represent “Scotty David” in any inquiry into his conduct during Maxwell’s trial, in light of a series of media interviews he gave in which he admitted to swaying deliberations by recounting his own trauma from childhood sexual abuse.The fact that prosecutors are advising Scotty, known by his first and middle names, to retain a lawyer means he may have committed perjury, legal experts speculated.

Mr Spodek has represented a series of high-profile clients, most recently Anna Sorokin, the wannabe New York socialite who pretended to be the scion of a wealthy European family to scam banks, businesses and friends. She served fewer than two years in prison on grand larceny charges.

Judge Alison Nathan has accepted to hear Maxwell’s motion for a new trial, giving the defence a deadline of January 19 to file a motion to vacate the sex-trafficking conviction.

Scotty told various outlets that he used his personal experience of abuse to assuage doubts that other jurors had about some of the accusers’ testimonies.

A second, unidentified, juror then told The New York Times that they also shared a personal experience of sexual abuse that “appeared to help shape the jury’s discussions.”

At issue is whether Scotty incorrectly answered a question during the selection process on whether he had any personal experience of sexual abuse. Scotty told Reuters he “flew through” the 50 questions on the juror questionnaire and does not remember that one.

Legal experts explained that jurors’ comments posed two potential issues: perjury and prejudice – that is, respectively, lying under oath and having a preconceived opinion that may have improperly swayed the jury.

Prosecutors requested an inquiry because they had an ethical duty to flag to the court concerns of possible prejudice, said Neama Rahmani, the president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor. But they also took the unusual step of requesting that Scotty be appointed an attorney, which Mr Rahmani said might suggest they believed he could have acted criminally by committing perjury.

He said if Scotty purposefully gave a false answer to sit on the jury then there was precedent for the judge to grant a new trial.

Lisa Bloom, who represents a number of Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell accusers, yesterday described the possibility of a mistrial in the case as a “punch in the gut” for all the victims. “My heart goes out to the four victims, who will have to do it all again,” Ms Bloom said of the women whose testimony led to Maxwell’s conviction.

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Last Update: Thu, 06 Jan 22 14:15:09