Harvey Weinstein arrives at court with his walker

Harvey Weinstein arrives at court with his walker as jury selection is due to start in his New York rape trial – which could take WEEKS

  • Weinstein, 67, arrived at court Tuesday morning using a walker and looking frail  
  • Jury selection could take weeks as prosecutors, Weinstein’s lawyers and the judge find people to serve on a lengthy trial in a high-profile case 
  • The trial involves charges that Weinstein raped a woman in a NYC hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed a sex act on another woman in the city in 2006
  • Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and said any sexual activity was consensual 
  • Prosecutors in LA announced Monday Weinstein has been hit with new charges 

Harvey Weinstein arrived at court Tuesday, propped up by his walker, ahead of the start of jury selection in his New York rape trial. 

The disgraced movie mogul, 67, hunched over the device which had two tennis balls stuck on the bottom as he shuffled into court. He also appeared to be wearing an ankle support. 

Potential jurors in Weinstein’s Manhattan sexual assault trial are expected to fill a courtroom Tuesday as the former movie titan’s legal problems deepen with new charges in Los Angeles.

Jury selection could take weeks as prosecutors, Weinstein’s lawyers and the judge find people to serve on a lengthy trial in a high-profile case that has fueled societal pressure for accountability for sexual misconduct. 

The trial involves charges that Weinstein raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed a sex act on another woman in the city in 2006. Weinstein, 67, has said any sexual activity was consensual. 

Weinstein first appeared with the walker at a court appearance in December. He hobbled into court for a bail hearing then looking distinctly more frail and unsteady on his feet than in months past. 

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Potential jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s New York sexual assault trial are expected to fill a courtroom Tuesday as the former movie titan’s legal problems deepen with new charges in LA

Weinstein is pictured arriving Tuesday using his walker and appearing frail 

Weinstein, pictured Tuesday, first appeared with the walker at court in December

Potential jurors will be asked to fill out questionnaires to determine if they are able to be impartial.

A second phase of selection, in which a final jury of 12 will be picked, is expected to begin a week later, though Judge James Burke has called that date ‘optimistic.’

HOW WILL THE JURY BE SELECTED?

Potential jurors will be asked to fill out questionnaires to determine if they are able to be impartial.

A second phase of selection, in which a final jury of 12 will be picked, is expected to begin a week later, though Judge James Burke has called that date ‘optimistic.’

A jury summons was sent to 2,000 New Yorkers – five times the number for a typical trial.

Experts said lawyers for Weinstein and the prosecution would need to be wary of jurors who may try to mask their bias in order to serve on a headline-grabbing trial. 

Some jurors may seek to use the trial as a means of advancing a personal cause, a concern in a case that has become a flashpoint for ending sexual harassment.  

Weinstein in October lost a bid to move the trial to suburban Long Island or to Albany, New York state’s capital. He said intense media scrutiny made it impossible for jurors to give him a fair trial in Manhattan.

The defense asked at Monday’s hearing that the jury be sequestered, a request the judge denied.

Given the high-profile nature of the case, the court cast a wide net, sending out jury summonses to 2,000 New Yorkers. Based on past experience, a court spokesman said about 500 were likely to show up for jury duty. 

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, said the number of jurors summoned for Weinstein is roughly five times the number for a typical trial.

Jill Huntley Taylor, a jury expert at the trial consulting firm Dispute Dynamics, said the new charges announced Monday in Los Angeles would increase the challenge of picking a fair jury.

‘It’s one more opportunity for jurors to be exposed to the allegations against him,’ she said. 

Prosecutors need 12 jurors to back a conviction, while Weinstein needs just one holdout for a hung jury.

Donna Rotunno, one of Weinstein’s lawyers, has said she is confident her team could seat a fair-minded jury.

‘Once 12 people are put in that box and they realize the gravity of it, they really want to be fair,’ Rotunno said.  

‘In this great country, you are innocent until proven guilty,’ she said Monday.

Across the street from the courthouse, women who say they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein branded him a villain undeserving of anyone’s pity.

‘This trial is a cultural reckoning regardless of its legal outcome,’ said Sarah Ann Masse, a performer and writer who said Weinstein once sexually harassed her in his underwear during a job interview.

Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein has now been accused of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct by dozens of women, from famous actresses to assistants at his former company. 

The allegations began surfacing publicly in October 2017 and sparked the #MeToo movement, as well as investigations in multiple places.

Los Angeles prosecutors also charged Weinstein Monday with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013. Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Potential jurors in Weinstein’s New York sexual assault trial are expected to fill a courtroom Tuesday as the former movie titan’s legal problems deepen with new charges in Los Angeles

Jury selection could take weeks as prosecutors, Weinstein’s lawyers and the judge find people to serve on a lengthy trial in a high-profile case that has fueled societal pressure for accountability for sexual misconduct

Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein has now been accused of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct by dozens of women

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the timing of the charges was unrelated to the New York trial. 

She said the case took more than two years to build because the women were reluctant to provide all the information necessary, and the filing happened on the first business day when all the necessary people could gather.

There is some connection between the cases, though – one of the Los Angeles accusers is expected to testify in the New York case to help prosecutors establish what they say was Weinstein’s pattern of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, Lacey said.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, right, at podium, announced Monday that Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013 in Los Angeles

Actor Rose McGowan, right, speaks at a news conference as actor Rosanna Arquette, center left, listens outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein on Monday

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? THE CHARGES AGAINST HARVEY WEINSTEIN

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. 

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts in New York – two counts of rape, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault. 

He faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.  

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006. Prosecutors say Weinstein raped the second woman, who has not been publicly identified, in 2013. 

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts

Jury selection begins on Tuesday but finding impartial New York City jurors amid the media frenzy surrounding the Weinstein case will be a challenge for both legal teams, experts said.

Lawyers will likely question potential jurors about their knowledge and opinion of the case, their work history and whether they have been victims of sexual misconduct.

The trial is expected to last for around six weeks.  

Los Angeles prosecutors also charged Weinstein Monday with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013.

Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 

Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if he is convicted of the charges filed in LA of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. 

His arraignment has not yet been scheduled and prosecutors will recommend $5 million bail. Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his trial in New York is finished.   

Here is what to expect from the trial:

WHO ARE THE ACCUSERS?

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, pictured in 2017, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006

More than 80 women have publicly accused Weinstein, 67, of sexual misconduct, helping to fuel the #MeToo movement over the last two years. The criminal charges against him refer to just three accusers.

Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant on a Weinstein Company television show, has said that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Manhattan home in July 2006.

Actress Annabella Sciorra, best known for her role on HBO’s The Sopranos, has said Weinstein raped her in her Manhattan apartment in 1993.

Prosecutors have accused Weinstein of raping another woman in March 2013 in Manhattan. She has not been publicly identified.

Weinstein has said that any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

WHAT ARE THE CHARGES?

Weinstein is charged with 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.

Sciorra’s allegation is too old to be the basis of a separate charge, but is a crucial part of the predatory sexual assault charges, which require prosecutors to establish a pattern of serious sex crimes against multiple women.

Predatory sexual assault is the most serious charge against Weinstein, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.

WHO WILL TESTIFY AGAINST WEINSTEIN?

Haleyi, Sciorra and the 2013 accuser are almost certain to testify in a trial that is expected to last up to eight weeks.

Prosecutors may also call three other women to testify about encounters with Weinstein, even though he is not formally charged with crimes against them. Their testimony is intended to bolster the charges by showing that Weinstein had a consistent pattern of behavior.

Prosecutors have also said that they expect to call Barbara Ziv, a professor at Temple University in Pennsylvania, to testify as an expert on the trauma resulting from sexual assault.

WHAT IS WEINSTEIN’S DEFENSE?

While criminal defendants and their lawyers typically avoid revealing their strategy before trial, Weinstein has dropped some hints.

Weinstein’s lead lawyer, Donna Rotunno, told Reuters that Weinstein had a ‘slew of witnesses ready to go.’ She has said the defense would be introducing emails and text messages to prove that Weinstein’s accusers maintained relationships with him after his alleged assaults.

His lawyers have also said they plan to call psychologist Deborah Davis, of the University of Nevada, Reno, to testify as an expert on memory, suggesting that Weinstein may try to call his accusers’ recollections into question.

Harvey Weinstein was pictured smiling as he arrived at a New York court Monday as his lawyers and a judge handle the final preparation for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault

WHAT OTHER LEGAL RISKS DOES WEINSTEIN FACE?

Even if he is acquitted in Manhattan, Weinstein faces separate criminal charges announced on Monday by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Lawyer Rotunno declined immediate comment on those charges.

Weinstein was charged with sexually assaulting two unidentified women in 2013, said Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey. He was charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting the other.  

Lacey said the timing of the charges was unrelated to the New York trial.

But there is some connection between the cases. One of the Los Angeles accusers is expected to testify in the New York case to help prosecutors establish what they say was Weinstein’s pattern of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, Lacey said.

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