NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. judge refused to throw out Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction Friday, despite a juror’s failure to disclose before the trial began that he’d been a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
Maxwell, a British socialite, was convicted in December of helping the millionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse several teenage girls.
U.S. Judge Alison J. Nathan declined to order a new trial weeks after questioning the juror under oath in a New York courtroom about why he failed to disclose his personal history as an abuse survivor on a questionnaire during the jury selection process.
The juror had said he “skimmed way too fast” through the questionnaire and did not intentionally give the wrong answer to a question about sex abuse.
“I didn’t lie in order to get on this jury,” he said.
In her opinion, Nathan said the juror’s failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the jury selection process was highly unfortunate, but not deliberate.
The judge also concluded the juror “harbored no bias toward the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror.”
Maxwell’s lawyers had said they potentially could have objected to the man’s presence on the jury on the grounds that he might not be fair to a person accused of a similar crime.
The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment. Messages were left with Maxwell’s attorneys.
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