Second juror in Ghislaine Maxwell trial reportedly sexually abused as child

Maxwell and Epstein. Credit: PA/US Department of Justice

A second juror at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell has reportedly admitted to being sexually abused as a child.

The New York Times said it interviewed the juror, who requested anonymity, and said they had discussed the experience during deliberations and believed the revelation had helped to shape the jury’s discussions.

It comes after another juror, who told reporters he was sexually abused as a child, hired a lawyer.

The unidentified juror's public interviews led defence lawyers in the case to say they will request a new trial. US District Judge Alison J. Nathan asked them to do so by January 19.

Maxwell was last month convicted of helping American financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.

The verdict capped a month-long trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14.

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

In an order Thursday, Nathan said the juror's retained lawyer, Todd Spodek, had informed her that the juror did not want the court to appoint a lawyer for him as she had offered.

Spodek did not immediately return a request for comment.

The revelations by the juror in interviews published by The Independent and the Daily Mail on Tuesday and Wednesday could threaten the guilty verdicts if a retrial goes ahead.

In the interviews, the juror said he revealed to other jurors during weeklong deliberations that he was sexually abused as a child, and he said the information helped him convince some jurors that a victim's imperfect memory of sex abuse doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein. Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

Memories and how they relate to sexual abuse victims were a contentious point among attorneys during the trial as each side summoned a memory expert to testify.

During deliberations, the jury requested transcripts of the testimony by the defence's memory expert, who said memories can be corroded over time by outside influences and general decay.

In the end, the jurors concluded unanimously that Maxwell, 60, was guilty of recruiting teenage girls between 1994 and 2004 for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.

No sentencing date was set.

Epstein, 66, took his own life at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 as he awaited a trial on sex trafficking charges.