OAN Shannon Kelland
4:10 PM PT – Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Ghislaine Maxwell seeks to have her conviction thrown out because she claims a series of errors damaged the integrity of her trial and prosecutors made her a scapegoat because the financier was dead.
Maxwell, 61, was found guilty in December 2021 and is serving her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Florida.
She is serving a 20-year prison sentence on five charges for recruiting and grooming four teenaged girls for abuse by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.
The appeal was made by her new legal team. It is led by Arthur Aidala, the lawyer that represented Harvey Weinstein at his first sex crimes trial in 2020.
Maxwell’s lawyers argued that she was denied a fair trial, due to one of the jurors failing to disclose his own history of sexual abuse during jury selection.
“Irrespective of whether the juror’s false statements were intentional, which they clearly were, the similarities between the traumatic experiences described by the juror and the victims in the case, together with the juror’s public statements, established the juror’s bias,” written in the appellate brief.
Maxwell’s lawyers also claim her “deplorable” jail conditions subjected her to raw sewage, sleep and water deprivation, and hyper-surveillance leaving her “so disoriented and diminished” that she could not properly aid her defense.
Maxwell’s lawyers argued that the charges were barred by a five-year statute of limitations, and restored “decades-old allegations” previously blamed on Epstein, who committed suicide in prison.
“The government prosecuted Ms. Maxwell as a proxy for Jeffrey Epstein. It did so to satisfy public outrage over an unpopular non-prosecution agreement and the death of the person responsible for the crimes,” Aidala said.
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