Convicted sex predator Ghislaine Maxwell formally appealed her sex-trafficking conviction Tuesday, arguing prosecutors and the judge made a series of “fatal” errors during her case in Manhattan federal court.
Maxwell’s attorney Arthur Aidala said in a statement Tuesday the Justice Department had prosecuted his client as a “proxy” for Jeffrey Epstein to “satisfy public outrage” over the case in the aftermath of his sudden in-custody death.
He accused the government of working with Epstein accusers “to develop new allegations out of faded, distorted, and motivated memories.”
A Manhattan federal court jury convicted Maxwell on five of six counts in December 2021, including sex trafficking of minors, for helping pedophile financier Epstein groom girls and women for him to abuse.
She was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June 2022.
Another Maxwell attorney, John Leventhal, had said in previous court filings that the appeal would focus on five points raising issues “pertaining to statute of limitations; a non-prosecutions agreement; juror misconduct and a post-verdict hearing; and sentence.”
In his statement Tuesday, Aidala expanded on the points.
“The Government breached a non-prosecution agreement that immunized Ms. Maxwell for these offenses. That agreement was entered into by the Government and Epstein in 2007, and, by its terms, unambiguously barred this prosecution, in the first instance,” he wrote.
Following Maxwell’s conviction, a juror who identified himself as Scotty David revealed in a number of media interviews that he had been sexually abused as a child – and did not disclose that during pretrial jury selection.
The admission briefly threw Maxwell’s conviction into doubt, but it was ultimately upheld by Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over the trial.
In his statement Tuesday, Aidala said the appeal would highlight the alleged juror misconduct in the third point they will raise in the filing.
“Ms. Maxwell was denied her right to be tried by a fair and impartial jury when a juror revealed that he gave made materially false statements in jury selection that concealed that he had experienced the ‘exact same thing’ as the victims, namely, childhood sexual abuse,” Aidala wrote.
“To compound the error, during jury deliberations, he used his undisclosed prior experience to convince other jurors that the defendant was guilty,” he added.
Maxwell, 61, is serving her sentence in federal prison in Florida, at low-security lockup near Tallahasse.
An oral argument hearing for the appeal has not yet been set.