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The Ghislaine Maxwell juror who falsely stated on a pretrial questionnaire that he had not been a victim of sexual abuse may be forced to testify at an upcoming hearing, according to new court papers.
Federal prosecutors are seeking approval from the Department of Justice to offer immunity to the juror, so he can’t invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he’s slated to be questioned under oath March 8 over the matter. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan would still have to sign off on the immunity order.
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The letter from prosecutors, released Wednesday, came in response to a filing from the juror’s lawyer, Todd Spodek, informing the court that his client would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination at the upcoming hearing.
Maxwell’s convictions on sex trafficking and other charges hang in the balance after the juror told reporters that he had been a victim of sexual abuse in post-verdict interviews. He said that he had shared his experience with the panel during deliberations and this had swayed some jurors to vote for conviction.
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The British socialite’s defense lawyers have asked for a new trial, arguing that had the juror answered truthfully they would have struck him for cause from the panel.
Spodek previously wrote in a court filing that his client did not recall answering questions during jury selection about his prior experience with sexual assault.
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After five days of deliberations, Maxwell was found guilty Dec. 29 of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein. She has been locked up since her arrest.
Epstein was found hanged in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on serious sex crimes charges.