His Trial Is Underway
Harvey Weinstein's rape and sexual assault trial began on Monday. The disgraced Hollywood mogul has been accused by 80 different women of various types of sexual misconduct, but the criminal charges against him just come from three accusers: former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, actress Annabella Sciorra, and a woman who has not yet been publicly identified but alleges that he raped her in 2013..
Weinstein is facing "charges of a criminal sexual act in the first degree against Haleyi, and with rape for the 2013 allegation. He is charged with predatory sexual assault over both allegations."
Breaking The Rules Already
Weinstein was threatened with jail time by New York's Judge James Burke after Weinstein used two of his four cell phones in the courtroom. Weinstein surrendered two phones, but pulled out two after that and was using one when Burke entered.
"Mr. Weinstein, I strongly urge you to exercise your right to remain silent at this point; that is, don't say anything. But is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, in violation of a 'do not text in court' rule?"
When Weinstein's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, apologized, Burke replied "I don't want apologies. I want compliance."
Requesting A Delay
Aidala then went on to request a delay in the trial because Weinstein was charged with rape and assault in Los Angeles and because that was all over the news, they believe that they won't be able to get an unbiased jury.
He claimed that because of "what's being said on the internet" that potential jury members should be quizzed on whether or not they've been following what's happening in LA before they are selected for the jury. According to Aidala,
"I was at dinner last night discussing Bruce Springsteen with a friend, and all we could hear were other tables discussing, 'Did you hear about Weinstein?' My client is the talk of the town."
More To Come
Burke denied the request, telling them that the trial will not be delayed and that they can select different questions to ask prospective jurors. To the claim that it's not fair that people are discussing Weinstein in the public square, Burke replied:
"Let's not keep trying to unring a bell that has no resonance."
According to Buzzfeed News, "the questions include ones about whether the jurors or their family members have ever worked in the entertainment industry and if they have ever been a victim of sexual violence. Other questions include how much the jurors have read about the case and whether they can remain impartial."
Jury selection is expected to take as long as two weeks, while the trial itself could take eight or more. This is certainly going to be a lengthy ordeal that will hopefully end with justice.