NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Jury selection got under way Tuesday in the sex assault trial of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
WEB EXTRA: Read the juror questionnaire (.pdf)
Weinstein showed up using a walker following recent back surgery.
He is charged with assaulting two women, but since 2017 dozens more have publicly accused him of similar acts.
READ: Indictment Document
Judge James Burke raised his voice as court began, admonishing Weinstein and his legal team for Weinstein’s use of a cell phone.
“I never want to see a cell phone in your client’s hand,” Burke said. “Is this the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?”
Attorneys argued over whether Weinstein should be remanded into custody due to a possible flight risk. Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno said Weinstein just had back surgery on Dec. 12, and is too frail to make any kind of movements.
Arthur Aidala, another Weinstein attorney, asked the judge for a “cooling off period” since Weinstein had just been charged in Los Angeles Monday with four counts of rape and sexual assault. Those charges stem from two incidents at hotels there back in 2013.
More than 40 potential jurors told the court Monday they can’t be impartial and have been excused.
Jury selection is expected to last up to two weeks.
The trial is expected to be wrapped up by early March, the judge said.