On Monday, prosecutors in the trial of Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell joined her defense team to inform U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan that the federal government would dismiss two perjury charges against her if her conviction on five federal sex trafficking charges, which was determined on December 29, is permitted to stand.
“In the letter, prosecutors said that dismissing the perjury counts would be in line with victims’ ‘significant interests in bringing closure to this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again,’” NBC News reported.
The deadline set by Nathan for Maxwell’s lawyers to explain why her conviction should be overturned is January 19; prosecutors can respond to the defense team’s argument until February 2.
One of the jurors in the trial claimed he convinced recalcitrant jurors who voiced skepticism about two women testifying that Epstein had groomed them for sex as teenagers. The juror said he shared his own experience of being sexually abused, adding, “When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse,” he stated to Reuters and The Independent.
Maxwell’s defense attorneys said that juror’s claim that he had influenced other jurors comprised a “compelling basis” to overturn Maxwell’s conviction and grant a new trial.
The day after Maxwell was found guilty, federal prosecutors announced they had filed notice in Manhattan federal court that they were dropping their criminal case against two Manhattan Bureau of Prisons jail guards who were supposed to guard Jeffrey Epstein the night he reputedly killed himself, August 10, 2019.
Prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33 and Michael Thomas, 43, who were scheduled to have a public hearing on December 16 but was canceled the day before. Both guards had agreed to a no-jail deal in May; prosecutors stated that the two guards had “satisfactorily complied” with the non-prosecution agreement and had completed community service.
In May 2021, Noel and Thomas admitted that they falsified prison records. “As part of the deal with prosecutors, they will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and will serve no time behind bars,” The Associated Press reported. “Noel and Thomas would instead be subjected to supervised release, would be required to complete 100 hours of community service and would be required to fully cooperate with an ongoing probe by the Justice Department’s inspector general.”
“The guards, who were supposed to be checking on Epstein every 30 minutes, are accused of checking sports news and shopping for furniture on the internet before taking a nap during Epstein’s death,” The Daily Wire reported. “The two are accused of falsifying prison records to make it look like they had been doing their job during the time of Epstein’s death.”
“After they discovered the high-profile inmate dead at 6.30 a.m., the officers allegedly told a supervisor they had ‘messed up’ and ‘didn’t do any checks’ in the hours before he killed himself,” The Daily Mail noted, adding, “The two guards were required to jointly conduct institutional counts at 4pm, 10pm, 12am, 3am and 5am of the prisoners in the unit. … The pair were only 15ft away from Epstein when he died. They found him dead when they went to serve him breakfast at 6.30am. The last time they checked on him was at 10.30 p.m. the night before.”
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