Weinstein Jury Is Set, as Judge Slams Defense

'Nothing you said makes logical sense to me,' he says in rejecting bid for private jury screening
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 17, 2020 1:37 PM CST
Weinstein Jury Is Set, as Judge Slams Defense
Harvey Weinstein and his attorney Donna Rotunno arrive at a Manhattan courthouse to attend jury selection Friday.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – A jury of seven men and five women was selected Friday for Harvey Weinstein's criminal trial in New York after an arduous, two-week process, setting the stage for testimony to begin in the next week. The final tally mostly erased a gender imbalance that, just hours earlier, led to complaints by prosecutors that the defense was deliberately trying to keep young women off the panel. "They are systematically eliminating a class of people from this jury," prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said. The defense said it wasn't specifically trying to exclude young women, the AP reports, but didn't want jurors who were too young to understand the way men and women interacted in the early 1990s. "That was a different time in New York and on planet Earth," Weinstein attorney Arthur Aidala said.

Citing news media coverage, the defense tried to have the juror screening take place in private, per USA Today. Judge James Burke, denying the fourth request, told defense lawyers, "Nothing you said makes logical sense to me." Weinstein, 67, ambling out of the courthouse, didn’t comment when asked about jury selection. "Ask Donna!" he said, referring to lawyer Donna Rotunno. Three alternate jurors—one man and two women—were also seated. Weinstein, the former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as Pulp Fiction, is charged with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman in 2006. He has pleaded not guilty. (Gigi Hadid wasn't in the jury pool for long.)

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