How Ghislaine Maxwell May 'Benefit' From 'Surprising' Decision on Juror

Ghislaine Maxwell could be heading for a new trial and may benefit from the "surprise" decision to grant immunity to one juror, an expert has told Newsweek.

The British socialite was convicted in December on five out of six counts of sex trafficking but the case was thrown into disarray after juror Scotty David gave media interviews.

He told journalists, including at The Independent and the Daily Mail, how he had described his own experiences of sexual abuse during deliberations.

The revelation was seized upon by Maxwell's legal team, who called for a retrial because he did not disclose his history in a jury questionnaire.

David could have been at risk of prosecution over false answers and suggested through his lawyer that he would take the fifth amendment right against incriminating himself.

However, he was granted immunity from prosecution to allow him to testify in court on March 7.

Jury consultant Jill Huntley Taylor, chief executive of Taylor Trial Consulting, told Newsweek in January: "The juror may be in some trouble if he deceived the court."

Following Tuesday's hearing, she added: "The decision to grant the juror immunity was surprising.

"After the juror had already publicly said his answer was a mistake, any testimony explaining his reasoning beyond that seemed only to the benefit of the defense.

"Hearing that he stuck to his position that this was a mistake is interesting and unlikely to change the defense posture that the case should be retried."

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents eight Epstein victims, went further, describing the day's events as "disturbing" and "highly likely" to lead to Maxwell getting a new trial.

She said in a Twitter video: "Big disturbing court day today in the Ghislaine Maxwell case. So, it looks like she's going to get a new trial."

She added: "The judge is going to decide in about a week after further briefing but I think its highly likely she gets a new trial.

"On behalf of the eight Jeffrey Epstein victims I represent just, oh, what a shame, what a nightmare."

Quoted by Reuters, David told the court: "This is one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in my life."

He said he flew through the questionnaire not expecting to be picked and stated that he did not deliberately mislead the court in order to get on the high profile case.

He added: "I did not hope to be on this jury. If you're going to serve jury duty, it might as well be something that's interesting. But I did not set out to get on this jury."

The government and Maxwell's lawyers will make their case to Judge Alison Nathan and court filings appear to indicate the prosecution still believes Maxwell's sentencing should go ahead as planned.

Ghislaine Maxwell With Jeffrey Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell, seen at an Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit at Cipriani, Wall Street on October 18, 2010, in New York City, and with Jeffrey Epstein at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000. Her legal team want a retrial. D Dipasupil/FilmMagic and Davidoff Studios/Getty Images