Weinstein Jury Selection Begins In NYC After New Charges In LA

Marla Diamond
January 07, 2020 - 1:20 pm
Harvey Weinstein

Associated Press

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Jury selection got underway Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, one day after he was indicted on rape charges in Los Angeles.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the process is expected to take several weeks as prosecutors, Weinstein’s lawyers and the judge try to find jurors to serve on a lengthy trial in the high-profile case.

Because of all of the publicity the case has received, jury summonses were sent to 2,000 New Yorkers, about five-times the number for a typical trial, the Office of Court Administration says.

The charges against the 67-year-old sparked the #MeToo movement, a cultural shift that netted many other famous men, and the concern is that some potential jurors could use the trial to advance a personal cause.

Defense attorney Arthur Aidala asked for a “cool off period” in wake of the California indictment, noting that it would be like “Christmas morning” for the prosecution. However, Judge James Burke denied the request, along with lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon’s request to revoke Weinstein's bail agreement.

Weinstein, who recently underwent back surgery, came to court leaning over a walker and sat in the front row tapping away at his cell phone – in violation of court rules, according to Diamond. The judge threatened to throw him in jail if he did not put it away.

The disgraced film mogul faces charges that he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and for forcibly performing a sexual act on another woman in 2006.

Weinstein has denied any wrongdoing and has said any sexual activity was consensual. The criminal trial could put Weinstein behind bars for the rest of his life.

The 67-year-old has also been charged with sexually assaulting two women in Los Angeles on successive nights during Oscars week in 2013. One of those women is expected to testify in the New York case.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, which is predicted to last two months, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.