Maxwell Defense Files Motion for New Trial Over Sex Trafficking Charges

By Dave Paone
Dave Paone
Dave Paone
Dave Paone covers New York City.
January 20, 2022Updated: January 23, 2022

NEW YORK—Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense team filed a motion in federal court on Jan. 19 requesting a new trial for the British socialite.

On Dec. 29 Maxwell was found guilty of five out of six sex-trafficking charges on behalf of the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Accompanying exhibits for the new trial request are under seal.

At the center of the motion is Juror No. 50, who had recently stated publicly he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and made this known to his fellow jurors during deliberations.

The prosecution had previously requested there be an inquiry into the juror and the defense had previously requested a new trial.

On Jan. 5, Judge Alison Nathan set a briefing schedule with Jan. 19 as the date the defense could officially file a motion for a new trial. The prosecution could respond on Feb. 2 and the defense could reply to that on Feb. 9.

The prosecution informed Nathan on Jan. 10 that if there’s no new trial it will drop its two outstanding perjury charges against Maxwell.

Juror No. 50 is represented by Todd Spodek, of Spodek Law Group in Manhattan.

Spodek submitted a motion to intervene, making Juror No. 50 an active party in the case, and requested to be provided with Juror No. 50’s questionnaire.

It’s believed that there was a question for potential jurors regarding any past history of sexual abuse, and if a potential juror had experienced any, would it have an influence on his or her verdict.

Juror No. 50 has publicly stated he went through the questionnaire very quickly and doesn’t recall what he wrote.

Regarding the two perjury charges, the prosecution requested that Nathan “exclude time” under the Speedy Trial Act, from Jan. 19 through April 1, essentially providing more time for both parties to research and brief post-trial motions.

The Speedy Trial Act has a maximum number of days designated for specific elements of a case to be completed. Excluding time is stopping the clock for a predetermined period.

On Jan. 14 Nathan scheduled Maxwell’s sentencing for June 28.