Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers formally request retrial over juror concern

The 60-year-old Briton faces up to 65 years in prison

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, have requested a retrial. AFP

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers have formally requested a retrial after concerns were raised about a juror’s possible failure to disclose before the trial that he was a victim of child sexual abuse.

Maxwell was convicted on five counts of sex trafficking and other crimes for recruiting and grooming teenage girls to have sexual encounters with her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein. He was found dead in his prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

After her trial in New York ended on December 29 with a guilty verdict, Maxwell, 60, faced spending up to 65 years in prison.

She is due to be sentenced in June.

But her lawyers expressed concern after a juror — who has not been publicly identified — admitted he had told his fellow jurors that he was sexually abused as a minor. He claimed he used his own experiences to persuade others on the jury to convict Maxwell.

Late on Wednesday evening lawyers for the former socialite said they had asked for a new trial.

“Today, counsel for Ghislaine Maxwell filed her motion for a new trial,” her defence lawyer, Bobbi C Sternheim, said in a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan.

In the letter, Ms Sternheim asked that all submissions pertaining to “Juror No 50" remain under seal until the court rules on the motion.

Earlier this month, Maxwell’s lawyers said there were “incontrovertible grounds” for another trial after a juror identified himself as a victim of underage sexual abuse.

The next day Maxwell's lawyer wrote to the judge seeking a new trial and New York lawyer Todd Spodek filed notice in Maxwell’s Manhattan case confirming he would now “appear in this case as counsel for Juror No 50.”

Mr Spodek did not respond to a request for comment and has not disclosed his client's name in the Maxwell case.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 8:47 PM