A woman writer currently writing a novel based on predatory old men and their relationship with younger women is set to serve as a part of the 12 member jury in the Harvey Weinstein case, international media reported. The 67-year-old film distributor was accused of sexual assault in 2017 which sparked the global #MeToo movement.
The jury selection process took two weeks to finalise. The process involved screening approximately 700 candidates before the final team of seven men and five women were picked. According to media reports, Joan Illuzzi a veteran prosecutor will make the opening statements and will present the Prosection's case on January 22.
After the decision was made public, the Weinstein's attorneys argued that the newly-appointed juror would make decisions based on her preconceived notions and biases before saying that she would not make a fair and impartial juror. Weinstein's attorneys claimed that her answers were inconsistent. In her juror questionnaire, the juror had claimed that she enjoyed writing, not that she was writing a novel on a subject similar to the case. However, the challenge was denied immediately by Judge Burke.
The case against Weinstein began in October 2017 when two dailies reported that dozens of women had accused the American film producer of at least 30 years of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Since then, more than eighty people in the film industry have accused Weinstein of such crimes.
Weinstein denied "any non-consensual sex." He was dismissed from TWC, expelled from the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy and other professional associations, and withdrew from public view.
On 25 May 2018, in New York, Weinstein was arrested and released on parole on charges of rape and other offences. According to media reports, notwithstanding an unprecedented number of women reporting Weinstein's allegations of sexual misconduct, Weinstein can only stand trial against three women for recent criminal charges against him.