In a 40-page opinion, Judge Alison Nathan found the juror’s “lack of attention and care in responding accurately to every question on the questionnaire is regrettable, but the Court is confident that the failure to disclose was not deliberate.”
The judge noted the bar for setting aside a guilty verdict is high and extraordinary occurs “only in the most of circumstances.”
The jury issue became public after the conviction when the jury gave multiple interviews to media outlets saying he had been sexually abused as a child. He said several jurors had issues with the victims’ faulty memories, so he shared his personal experience with abuse and memory during deliberations.
Maxwell’s lawyers argued she should be granted a new trial because of the juror’s answers.
Last month, Judge Nathan questioned the juror, who said he was distracted and unfocused when filling out the questionnaire and made an “inadvertent mistake.” He denied tailoring his answers to win a spot on the jury. The judge said she found the juror to be responsive and forthright and that he affirmed his personal history would not affect his ability to serve as an impartial and fair juror “in any way.”
On Friday, Maxwell’s attorney asked the judge not to rule on the motion for a new trial until they see a new interview Juror 50 gave as part of a multi-part streaming series on Maxwell. Prosecutors said the government “strongly” opposed any delay of the ruling.
The trial, which took about a month late last year, alternated between disturbing testimony from sexual abuse victims and illuminating testimony about some of Epstein’s connections to high-profile celebrities.
The jury of six women and six men deliberated for about 40 hours across parts of six days before the verdict. They found her guilty of sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy, but acquitted her of a charge of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
She is scheduled to be in June and faces up to 65 years in prison.
CNN’s Lauren del Valle, Kara Scannell and Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.
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