At least one prospective juror who tweeted about the jury selection process in Harvey Weinstein’s trial could face jail time for violating the judge’s order.
On Thursday morning, one prospective juror was called back into Justice James Burke’s courtroom and told he must return, with an attorney, on March 10 to “show cause” as to why the judge should not hold him in contempt for tweeting about the trial. The maximum penalty includes a fine and up to 30 days in jail.
The prospective juror — who cannot be identified because he has not been excused from jury duty — is not the only one in the jury pool who has made public statements on social media about jury selection, but the timing of his tweets were what landed him back in the courtroom on Thursday.
Xorje Olivares, a radio host and producer, also wrote a tweet thread about jury selection for the trial and has since given multiple interviews to media outlets about his experience. But because he waited until he was officially dismissed to publicly talk about it, Olivares told TheWrap that he has not been contacted by the court for any violation.
“Telling Harvey Weinstein and his lawyers to their faces that I could NOT be impartial was a f—ing JOY,” Olivares wrote last Friday.
Now that my jury service is officially over, I can say that telling Harvey Weinstein and his lawyers to their faces that I could NOT be impartial was a fucking JOY.
— Xorje Olivares (@XorjeO) January 10, 2020
Jury selection for the trial continues this week as the defense and prosecution look to narrow down a pool of prospective jurors down to 12 people, with six alternates.
Opening statements are expected to begin next Wednesday. Weinstein, who has pleaded not guilty, faces five counts for predatory sexual assault and rape.
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