Judge Refuses To Step Aside In Weinstein Trial As Jury Selection Continues

Marla Diamond
January 09, 2020 - 12:45 pm
Harvey Weinstein

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A judge in Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape trial has refused to step aside on the third day of jury selection Thursday.

The defense requested Judge James Burke step aside Wednesday after he threatened to jail the disgraced movie mogul for ignoring a court order banning the use of cell phones in the courtroom.

The 67-year-old’s lawyers said the judge’s comments were “prejudicial and inflammatory.”

Burke on Thursday disagreed and said there was nothing wrong with scolding a defendant over violating an order. He told lawyers, “I never actually meant I would put your client in jail. All I meant to do was scare him enough to discontinue.”

As the trial entered its third day of jury selection, the defense once again asked for a “cooling off” period after prosecutors in Los Angeles filed new sex crime charges against him one day before the New York trial got underway.

They complained of a carnival atmosphere inside and outside the court. The judge denied that request and praised the media for, in his words, being very well-behaved.

Weinstein is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence, saying all sexual activity was consensual.