#MeToo Didn't Affect Trial, Weinstein Juror Says

Unsealed documents show judge wouldn't kick foreman out for smiling at prosecutor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2020 3:37 PM CST
#MeToo Didn't Affect Trial, Weinstein Juror Says
Judge James Burke, left, instructs the jurors before they begin deliberating on Harvey Weinstein's rape trial on Feb. 18 in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

The jury that convicted Harvey Weinstein of rape and sex assault did not consider the trial's implications for the #MeToo movement, one of the jurors said in an interview aired Friday. "No, zero, absolutely zero," juror Drew Malbin said on CBS This Morning. "Because it’s not the job, and it’s not what we were asked to do." He added, "It would be an adulteration of the process to take outside factors and have that weigh on our decision-making process and eventual findings," the AP reports. At the outset of the trial, Judge James Burke cautioned jurors that "this trial is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement." Weinstein, 67, was found guilty Monday of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 and sexually assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006.

Malbin said said the actress' testimony about the 2013 assault warranted a guilty verdict on third-degree rape, a lesser charge than the first-degree conviction sought by prosecutors. "It wasn't rape in the first degree," Malbin said. "There was no physical compulsion with the threat of bodily harm or death. But there was no consent given, despite a lack of physical resistance, and a reasonable person should have known that there was no consent given in that instance." Also Friday, a newly unsealed court transcript showed that Weinstein's lawyers wanted the jury foreman kicked off the case for smiling at prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon as he left the courtroom one day. Illuzzi didn't respond to the juror. "Juror one walked up and looked in her direction, smiled, and said have a great or good weekend," Weinstein lawyer Damon Cheronis had complained. Burke denied Cheronis' request, saying: "Nothing wrong with juror one, who was simply smiling when he left the courtroom."

(More Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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