- by theguardian
- 24 Mar 2023
The trial of Harvey Weinstein began in Los Angeles on Monday, marking the second time the former Hollywood titan is in a courtroom on accusations of sexual assault.
Weinstein, now 70, is facing 11 sexual assault charges for alleged attacks against five women between 2004 to 2013 in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. The accusations include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint and sexual penetration by use of force.
Jury selection, the first phase of the trial, started on Monday in Los Angeles superior court and is expected to last two weeks.
Weinstein, who is being held in a Los Angeles county jail, was brought into court in a wheelchair through a side door and climbed from it carefully into a seat next to one of his lawyers at the defense table. He was wearing a blue suit, which he is allowed to change into from his jail attire during the trial.
He stood with the rest of the room as the first panel of 67 prospective jurors were brought in, but he sat down about halfway through the process. He waved at them from his seat when his lawyers introduced them.
The jurors were given a lengthy questionnaire intended to screen out those who need to be dismissed. Both the questions and answers on the forms are private, but previous hearings have revealed that they contain questions on how much media coverage of Weinstein potential jurors have seen, and whether they have formed opinions from it, though the judge rejected questions on specific stories and media outlets.
The questionnaire also includes a question about a California law that says the testimony alone of a sexual assault victim can be sufficient evidence to convict if a juror believes them.
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