Jury selected in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial

1010 WINS Newsroom
January 17, 2020 - 1:00 pm

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The jury has been selected in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial.

This sets the stage for testimony to begin next week.

The news comes a day after Weinstein’s lawyers went to court with a last-minute demand to halt jury selection and move his rape trial out of New York City, where they say intense media coverage, protesters and even the consideration of supermodel Gigi Hadid as a juror have turned the case into a "media and entertainment circus."

Weinstein’s lawyers detoured to the Manhattan appellate court hours after the 24-year-old Hadid was dismissed from the jury pool and as jurors were starting to be picked for the case. By lunchtime Thursday, five jurors had been selected — three men and two women — from about 145 potential jurors who were invited back for additional questioning.

“The deluge of publicity adverse to Mr. Weinstein has engulfed the potential jury pool resulting in untoward pressure upon jurors to convict a man demonized and prejudged guilty,” Weinstein lawyer Arthur Aidala wrote in court papers that spurred Thursday's trip to the appellate court.

Prosecutors opposed moving the trial, pointing to the plethora of potential jurors still in the running after pledging they could be fair and impartial as evidence that the process is working. Moving to a smaller community with a smaller jury pool would only make it more difficult to find jurors, they added.

Weinstein, 67, is charged with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. He has pleaded not guilty and said any sexual activity was consensual. If convicted, Weinstein could face life in prison.