Weinstein threatened with jail by judge for using cell phones in court

Juliet Papa
January 07, 2020 - 6:58 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Justice James Burke threatened Harvey Weinstein with jail on Tuesday for continuously violating an order barring the use of cell phones in the courtroom.

Looking directly at the defendant, he said, "you may want to invoke your right to council and silence right now," as he reprimanded Weinstein and one of the attorneys for not abiding by the order.

"Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of you life, by texting and violating a court order?" the judge added.

The judge objected to Weinstein constantly texting and looking at phone.

According to Judge Burke, Weinstein would have two phones and "then he'd have two more," after they'd be taken away.

The judge denied a defense request  for a "cooling off " period, delaying jury selection for a few days, or a week,  in light of  the publicity surrounding the new LA allegations.     

Attorney Donna Rotunno told the judge  it could not have been coincidence that those charges were filed as the New York case was getting underway.

"If anyone believes that, I'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge," Rotunno, a Chicago native, said. 

The judge also denied a  prosecution request  to remand Weinstein in light of the  LA charges. 

RELATED: Weinstein charged in L.A. with raping woman, sexually assaulting another; announcement comes just hours after he appears in NYC court

Prosecutors called Weinstein a "man of great means. He travels back and forth across the country privately, and he has vast real estate  holdings, some of which he sold recently for 60 million dollars." 

The judge denied the motion and  kept  bail at $2 million.

Potential jurors are filled the Manhattan courtroom Tuesday as the jury selection in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial began. Below is the juror questionnaire.

The former movie titan's legal problems deepened on Monday as he faces new charges in Los Angeles.

The selection process could take weeks as prosecutors, as Weinstein's lawyers and the judge prepare to find people to serve on a lengthy trial in a high-profile case that catpulted the #MeToo movement.

On Monday, a frail-looking Weinstein entered the building on a walker after recently undergoing back surgery. He had on a dark suit and messy hair.

The 67-year-old disgraced movie mogul faces allegations that he raped one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

If convicted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charges against him, Weinstein faces a mandatory life sentence. 

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and maintains that any sexual activity was consensual.

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