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Judge threatens to jail Weinstein for texting, jury selection begins

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 7, 2020 - Duration: 01:38s

Judge threatens to jail Weinstein for texting, jury selection begins

Harvey Weinstein's rape trial took a dramatic turn on Tuesday as the judge threatened to revoke his bail and jail the former film producer after catching him using his cellphone as jury selection got underway.

Jillian Kitchener has more.

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Judge threatens to jail Weinstein for texting, jury selection begins

On the second day of his criminal trial in New York City - former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was threatened with jail.

A visibly angry judge threatened to immediately jail Weinstein for using his cellphone in court, asking, quote: β€œIs this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?” The warning came as jury selection got underway in the sexual assault case.

Weinstein - who arrived for court with the support of a walker and with his required electronic-tracking device visible on his ankle – is facing charges of assaulting two women in New York.

And on Monday, Weinstein was hit with new charges in Los Angeles for sexual assault of two unidentified women in 2013.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JACKIE LACEY, SAYING: "We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then committed violent crimes against them.” On Tuesday, one of Weinstein’s lawyers asked the judge to delay the trial or at least allow more time for jury selection - arguing the new charges in L.A.

Would make it impossible to choose a fair and impartial jury this week.

The judge refused to delay the trial.

He also denied, Monday, a request for a sequestered jury.

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct going back decades.

Weinstein has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

Weinstein could face life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.

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