The judge presiding over disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial will not step aside.
Weinstein’s lawyers requested Judge James Burke step aside after he threatened to throw Weinstein in jail for violating a court order barring the use of cellphones, according to a report published Thursday by Fox News.
The defense claimed the judge’s comment was “prejudicial and inflammatory.”
Judge Burke declined to step aside saying “scolding a recalcitrant defendant” was not improper.
“I never meant that I was going to put your client in jail for life,” he told the lawyers.
The defense also argued that Burke failed to give Weinstein a fair trial after he rejected a motion to break after Weinstein was hit with a separate indictment in Los Angeles. (RELATED: Judge Reportedly Scolds Harvey Weinstein Mid-Trial For Using His Cellphone)
Weinstein got a scolding from Judge Burke just 5 mins into the first day of trial for using his phone—despite repeated warnings not to.
“Mr. Weinstein…is this really the way that you want to land up in jail for the rest of your life…by texting and violating a court order?”
— Molly Crane-Newman (@molcranenewman) January 7, 2020
“Mr. Weinstein…is this really the way that you want to land up in jail for the rest of your life…by texting and violating a court order,” Burke said Tuesday during trial after repeatedly asking Weinstein to stop using his phone.
Weinstein is currently on trial for two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual acts, and two counts of rape. He faces life in prison.
The new indictment accused Weinstein of raping a woman and sexually assaulting another back in 2013.