Mon, 24 Feb 2020

Weinstein Back in Court as Jurors Winnowed for Rape Trial

Voice of America
14 Jan 2020, 08:05 GMT+10

NEW YORK - Jury selection resumed Monday at the trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has pleaded not guilty to charges he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulted another in 2006.

The initial screening process, now on its fifth day, has been stymied by a host of challenges and distractions, including repeatedly denied requests from the defense and a noisy protest outside the courthouse.

Both sides hope to deliver opening statements before the end of this month.

If convicted at a trial expected to last into March, the 67-year-old could face life in prison.

The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as I and "Shakespeare in Love" has said any sexual activity was consensual.

About 120 prospective jurors are being summoned to court each day. Last Tuesday, they were introduced as a group to Weinstein and were read a list of names that could come up at trial, including actresses Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron and Rosie Perez.

As his New York trial was getting underway a week ago, Los Angeles prosecutors announced new charges in a separate case against Weinstein. Those charges accuse him of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another woman there on back-to-back nights in 2013, days before he walked the Oscars with his then-wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, who was pregnant at the time.

Weinstein has not entered a plea in the Los Angeles case, which will be tried later.

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