The lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell will not be able to keep their legal arguments sealed about a juror who allegedly did not disclose prior sexual abuse during jury selection, a judge has ruled.
Maxwell, 60, was found guilty of enticing vulnerable teenagers to paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein‘s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Her lawyers made an official request for a retrial under seal in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan. The letter added: “We request that all submissions pertaining to juror no. 50 remain under seal until the court rules on the motion.”
It was prompted by juror 50 telling the media that he spoke to the other jurors of his experience of being sexually abused.
Judge Alison Nathan responded on Friday and wrote: “[The] defendant’s motion to temporarily seal, in their entirety, all documents related to the motion for a new trial, is denied.”
Maxwell’s lawyers said that filing defence documents publicly could allow the juror “to plan out and tailor his responses, or even potentially spoliate evidence, to paint himself and his conduct in the best light possible”, as reported by The Guardian.
Maxwell has yet to be sentenced after being convicted last month. She was found not guilty of one count, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Maxwell has maintained she’s innocent, and her family promised an appeal of her conviction.
The court in the Southern District of New York heard Maxwell imposed a “culture of silence… by design” at Epstein‘s properties, where staff were told to “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing”.
The prosecution told the jury that while the “horrific abuse” was going on, the defendant lived a “life of luxury” and the trafficking was described as a “means to support her lifestyle”.
Additional reporting by agencies