NEW YORK (AP) – The judge in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial has declined a defense request that he step aside. Judge James Burke announced his decision Thursday, the third day of jury selection in the New York case.
Weinstein’s lawyers sent Burke a letter Wednesday asking him to remove himself from the case. They objected to comments the judge made when he threatened to jail Weinstein for ignoring a court order barring texting in the courtroom. They questioned whether the judge could be impartial.
Judges seldom step aside from cases over such requests, which could be a play by Weinstein’s lawyers in setting up a future appeal.