NEW YORK—Juror No. 50, who’s at the heart of a potential mistrial in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking case, appeared in federal court docket on March 8 the place he pleaded the Fifth Amendment—the constitutional proper to refuse to reply questions in order to keep away from incriminating himself.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan, who presided over the case in December, granted him immunity from prosecution with the exception of perjury.
“You need to answer my questions today and you need to answer truthfully,” she instructed the juror, who selected to not disclose his precise title.
Soon after the jury’s Dec. 29 responsible verdict on 5 of six counts of intercourse trafficking of a minor, Juror No. 50 acknowledged publicly he was a sufferer of childhood sexual abuse and had made this recognized to his fellow jurors throughout deliberations.
At the heart of the subject is the questionnaire potential jurors crammed out previous to choice.
Juror No. 50 didn’t precisely reply questions regarding his childhood, sexual abuse at the arms of a stepbrother and his buddy, prompting Maxwell’s protection to push for a brand new trial.
Nathan learn the pertinent questions along with his responses, which had been written on Nov.4, 2021, the first day he reported for jury responsibility.
Juror No. 50 chosen “no” to the first query that referred to sexual abuse, asking if he, a buddy, or a member of the family had ever been a sufferer of it.
‘I was Super Distracted’
“Is ‘no’ an accurate answer to that question?” Nathan requested him.
“No, it is not,” he replied and stated the correct reply is “yes.”
Juror No. 50 repeatedly cited the causes for his incorrect solutions.
One was he was sidetracked whereas filling out the questionnaire.
“At this point, I was super distracted,” he stated and described sitting at the desk at the spot the place others had been piling their accomplished paperwork and asking questions.
“I felt rushed only because of all the commotion going on in front of me,” he stated.
A second was with the “sheer volume” of potential jurors, he didn’t anticipate being chosen.
“I never thought I’d be one of the 12,” he stated.
Showed Remorse for Lack of Focus
The third cause was he didn’t contemplate himself a sufferer, so he breezed by the questions pertaining to victimhood.
Some of the questions referring to sexual abuse had containers to verify, that included “self” and “family and friends.”
Juror No. 50 acknowledged a number of occasions, that in his haste, he by no means seen the “self” containers.
He confirmed regret for his lack of focus calling it “one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life.” He stated he didn’t deliberately give an incorrect reply.
“I skimmed. I didn’t read everything,” he stated and described the questionnaire as “a pretty thick packet.”
Juror No. 50 additionally stated a number of occasions that had he answered the questions precisely, he would nonetheless have been a good and neutral juror and would have nonetheless have had the capability to render a good and simply verdict primarily based on the proof submitted at trial.
It was throughout a post-trial interview with a reporter when Juror No. 50 discovered about the significance of his inaccurate solutions.
“Did I just mess something up entirely?” he requested himself.
Juror No. 50 took on attorneys in January with Todd A. Spodek, of Spodek Law Group in Manhattan.
Pleading the Fifth got here as no shock, as Spodek despatched a letter to Nathan on March 1, alerting the court docket to his shopper’s determination to take action.
Juror No. 50 and Nathan regarded straight at one another when talking and he typically replied with “yes, your honor,” and “no, your honor.”
Maxwell, who was current in the courtroom, was tried on trafficking minors for the sexual abuse of her employer Jeffrey Epstein.
Nathan gave each units of attorneys the deadline of March 15 to file briefs concerning what they suggest subsequent.