Less than a week following Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty conviction for child sex trafficking, in New York, three jurors: Scotty David (#50) and two unidentified individuals, acknowledged they did not tell the whole truth in their jury application.
The three jurors failed to disclose during the jury selection process that they were sexually abused and then used their traumatic incident to sway the remaining jurors to convict Ghislaine Maxwell of four out of five felony charges, including conspiracy to transport and child sex trafficking.
The crime of child sex trafficking (18 US Code 1591) carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in a federal prison.
Maxwell (60) would essentially spend the rest of her life in prison. Why did three, possibly four, jurors lie in their application during voir dire?
Maxwell is scheduled to be sentenced June 28, 2021.
According to the Daily Mail, in the course of the weekend of January 8th, a fourth juror’s testimony was called into question.
Which brings me to the origin of the case and the reason I have pursued this human trafficking story for 11 years since I broke open the series in 2010.
“Everything is politics.”
In the case of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein and Jean Luc Brunel — an associate of Epstein’s, friend of Maxwell, and indicted child predator — the exchange of money, introductions and other in-kind favors are at the root of all evil.
A decade post investigation reporting about the Epstein/Maxwell/Brunel child exploitation cases, the central theme remain money, power, and influence.
Juror Scotty David #50 said, he “flew through a pre-trial questionnaire and did not remember being asked on the form about his experience of sexual abuse.”
Later, David “used his experience to influence other jurors when I shared.” Apparently, the jurors “were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse,” the juror confirmed.
In view of the lengthy complex history and the many individuals whose memory comes and goes at the drop of a nickel, there is reason to believe the State Attorney’s Office-then Barry Krischer-would have sent all three predators —Epstein, Maxwell, and Brunel — behind bars in a slamdunk case had money, greed and political influence not intruded.
The first criminal charges accusing Maxwell, Epstein, and Brunel were filed in Palm Beach on March 15, 2005.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre was never called as a witness during Maxwell’s trial, though she has purportedly been a key witness and was the first to sue Maxwell in 2015.
Roberts Giuffre filed her first deposition as Jane Doe #102 on May 1, 2009. She sued Maxwell in a civil suit in New York for defamation.
In her 2009 deposition she accused Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell of raping and transporting her to exotic destinations “to service 8 powerful men.”
Epstein settled in 2009 and paid her $500,000 not to pursue other potential plaintiffs. Giuffre’s 2015 civil suit was settled for an undisclosed amount. Yet according to court files the “eight powerful men” Giuffre alluded to are about to embark on a long-winded investigation.
We do not know if any of these eight men are guilty or not. We do know that Giuffre has not been a credible witness, as some of her allegations have proven to be completely false.
For example, she has stated that Al Gore and his wife Tipper visited Epstein on his Caribbean island, though the Gore’s had never visited the island.
There is no doubt that if state and federal laws had been on the side of victims, in 2005, all three predators would probably be serving time in prison under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
The lack of enforcement of TVPA in Florida was the very reason I risked my life; pursued a mind-numbing case of two acquaintances I had known for 20 years; broke open the Epstein story; and after much trepidation published TrafficKing (April 2016).
Politics and greed interfered in Maxwell’s and Epstein prosecution. The best person to ask is former State Attorney Barry Krischer.
He decided not to charge the three traffickers and several other co-conspirators who remain at large: Haley Robson, Sarah Kellen, Leslie Groff, and Adriana Ross. The Feds — the Florida United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) — could also have filed federal charges.
According to former Labor Secretary, R. Alex Acosta and lead prosecutor during the Epstein case, the prosecution was undermined by Epstein and his team of swashbuckling lawyers.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office offered Epstein a Non-Prosecution Agreement, thanks to the overreach of United States Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
All of that is now water under the bridge. With one exception. The exchange of money and favors.
If Epstein had been an average wage earner his team of high-powered attorneys would not have represented him: Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Kenneth Starr, Jay Lefkowitz, Martin Weinberg, and Gerald Lefcourt among others.
David Boies would have thought twice before representing Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell if there wasn’t a rainbow at the end of the storm and he wasn’t a close friend of the Clinton’s.
Net-net: Twelve years after the Epstein case broke open several loose ends remain. Maxwell’s conviction could be tossed out as a result of the juror’s misrepresentations.
Brunel remains in a Paris jail awaiting trial. Like Maxwell, he could point to Epstein’s powerful friends who exploited the minor girls. Three or four jurors could face legal consequences.
Judge Alison Nathan might agree to hold hearings to determine the next steps if the jurors were untruthful during voir dire since the prosecution and defense attorneys agreed that post convictions confessions were an abomination, though the judge cannot ask jurors what went on during their deliberations.
Most recently, the “eight powerful men” Ms. Giuffre claimed in her 2011 deposition —taken by Jack Scarola and Brad Edwards — could become the new beneficiaries of a criminal investigation.
But then there is the issue of Giuffre’s credibility. Federal prosecutors declined to use her in Maxwell’s trial. Why would they hinge new federal prosecutions on her questionable testimony?
The countless lies created by Epstein’s web of facilitators and even some of his accusers have saturated a 17-year-old child trafficking case.
It seems a bygone conclusion that if Epstein had not been a generous Democratic party donor to a handful of politicos — most are still in power — none of the greedy politicians would have deflected, protected, and covered up his heinous crimes.
More importantly, the victims Epstein sexually exploited between 2005 and 2019 would have been spared the trauma of sexual abuse.
Nothing surprises me about the irregularities in the Epstein cases and the disappearence of evidence.
Conchita Sarnoff is Executive Director of the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking and author of TrafficKing.
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