Jury in Harvey Weinstein’s sex assault trial selected
A jury was selected Thursday for Harvey Weinstein’s sex assault trial in Los Angeles.
The jury consists of nine men and three women. They were chosen in a process that lasted about six days from a pool of 225 potential jurors summoned last week.
Later in the day, eight alternates were also seated and sworn in.
The two sides had initially planned to have 10 alternates but settled on eight and quickly agreed on who they should be.
One of those alternates called the court late in the day to reveal an inability to serve. That juror might be dismissed Monday morning. The court will hear final motions on which witnesses and testimony to allow on Friday.
The trial is expected to last six more weeks.
Because the jurors’ personal information was revealed mostly in questionnaires that remain sealed, little is known about the 12 jurors who will decide Weinstein’s fate. Those who were seated were asked few questions in court.
Their ages appeared to range mostly between 40 and 70. A few appeared to be older than that, and one man appeared to be in his early- to mid-20s. Of the three women, two are older adults, and one appeared to be about 30.
One of the women said during the selection process she was “on the fence” about the #MeToo movement.
“I believe most women but not necessarily all,” she said.
Another, an older man, has a daughter who is an attorney.
“I have a great deal of respect for both sides of the table and our system of justice,” he told one of Weinstein’s attorneys.
He expressed some doubt about whether he could find a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case with no DNA evidence. There is no DNA evidence in the case.
“It’s kind of an ambiguous question,” the juror said. “It all depends on the type of assault.”
Another man said he was not worried about getting grief from family, friends or co-workers if they learned he returned a not guilty verdict against Weinstein.
Earlier in the week, Weinstein’s defense team secured a win in court.
A judge said she would allow Weinstein’s defense the opportunity to question the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, about an email she sent to Weinstein two years after she was allegedly raped by the now 70-year-old.
Los Angeles Judge Lisa Lench ruled that the defense could ask about an email Siebel Newsom sent seeking media advice from Weinstein but did not say if it was about revelations of an affair Gavin Newsom had with an aide when he was mayor of San Francisco.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving Siebel Newsom and four other women. All of them will testify as Jane Doe during the trial.
Weinstein, 70, is serving a 23-year prison sentence following a conviction in New York. Weinstein was granted permission to take his appeal of his 2020 sex crime conviction to the New York State Court of Appeals.
Opening statements are expected to begin on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.