Harvey Weinstein trial should be public, news organizations argue

the Guardian | 4/26/2019 | Erin Durkin
News organizations are fighting to open Harvey Weinstein’s next court appearance to the public, after both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked for it to be held behind closed doors.

At a hearing set for Friday, ahead of the disgraced movie mogul’s trial in New York on rape and sexual assault charges, the sides will argue over whether some of the many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault – besides the ones involved in the criminal charges – will be allowed to testify at his June trial.

Prosecutors - Defense - Attorneys - Judge - Reporters

But prosecutors and defense attorneys have both asked the judge to shut out reporters and spectators from the court proceedings, which are normally open to the public.

Prosecutors say they want to preserve Weinstein’s right to a fair trial and the privacy of his accusers. Weinstein’s lawyers say news coverage of potential testimony against him could taint the jury pool.

News - Organizations - Associated - Press - New

News organizations including the Associated Press and New York Times argued in court papers that the sides have not met the high legal standard necessary to shut the public out of the courtroom.

“Clearly, there is no rational basis let alone ‘compelling circumstances’ that could justify the Parties’ effort to suppress this information now that it is in the public domain as a result of widespread news reporting,” wrote Robert Balin, a lawyer for the news organizations.

Dozens - Women - Celebrities - Mira - Sorvino

Dozens of women, including celebrities like Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd, have publicly accused the former high-powered film producer of sexual assault.

Balin argued that sealing the hearing would do nothing to protect Weinstein’s right to a fair trial because the accusations have been widely covered in the news media.

Weinstein - Acquaintance - Hotel - Room - Sex

Weinstein is charged with raping a female acquaintance in a hotel room in 2013, and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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