Weinstein's defense team rejects such testimony as prejudicial, and want Judge Burke to keep it out of the trial.
(Baez is best known for his defense of Casey Anthony, who was acquitted on charges of killing her young daughter in Florida in 2011.)But both prosecutors and defense attorneys sought to kick reporters and the public out of the preliminary hearing to discuss the matter.
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Adam Citron, a former New York prosecutor-turned-defense attorney, said the ruling will help protect a trial verdict from possibly being overturned on appeal.
Given the media attention to the case, a public hearing would expose potential jurors to testimony that might not be admitted at trial."In the event that the (judge rules) that certain testimony and/or witnesses are not permitted because the prejudicial effect outweighs the probative value, and the public and ultimate jury pool heard this testimony, that would open the door for a mistrial and/or appeal," Citron told USA TODAY.
Media outlets sought an emergency halt to the hearing but were turned down by an appeals justice. in New York, the hearing was over and reporters were waiting to learn what had happened, if anything, and if the lawyers were going to tell them. One thing was known, according to AP: The judge moved the trial date from June 3 to Sept.
9 and scheduled it to last a month plus two weeks for jury selection.
The latest high-stakes hearing in the Harvey Weinstein sex-crimes case concluded in New York on Friday as the judge in the case ruled against objections, closed the courtroom to the media and the public and then later announced a new trial date.
Judge James Burke rejected arguments from media organizations in response to demands by prosecutors and defense attorneys to close the courtroom while lawyers argue about whether to allow in testimony of alleged "prior bad acts and uncharged crimes" by Weinstein at his trial, now scheduled to start Sept. Burke said closing the courtroom was "the only means available to avoid the tainting of the jury pool," reported The Associated Press.Burke indicated he made a decision on whether to allow the "prior bad acts" testimony from other accusers but he chose not to announce his decision in open court. Weinstein issued a statement to USA TODAY through his spokesman, Juda Engelmayer, praising members of his legal team. Weinstein was happy with his attorneys, and the way that Marianne Bertuna and Diana Fabi Samson were able to achieve the necessary goals," the statement said. This is going to give us an ample opportunity to dig into the case."The fallen former movie mogul is scheduled to be tried on five counts of sexual assault, including rape, involving two female accusers."The time frame now allows his entire team to skillfully prepare for a fact-filled and strong defense."Weinstein's lead defense attorney, celebrity lawyer Jose Baez, told reporters he is happy about the trial delay. Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.Cara Delevingne, 25, shared on Instagram and in a statement to 'New York Magazine' and Huff Post that the producer attempted to kiss her in a hotel room."He began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature," she wrote.He said coverage of the hearing – which would deal with material that "is prejudicial to (Weinstein) and is highly inflammatory" – would serve no purpose but to stir negative public sentiment toward Weinstein.