Jury selection in the trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape and sexual assault started on Jan. 7 in New York. As both sides delved into jurors’ backgrounds and opinions, experts weighed in on jury selection strategy for high profile cases. Laffey, Bucci & Kent attorney Stewart Ryan, who helped prosecute and convict Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges, commented on the case to the Associated Press.
In the Cosby sexual assault case, Ryan and other prosecutors sought to fill the jury box with people who were 30 years old and younger, as well as older people who had children that age. They believed that people in those age groups would be more likely to keep up with the evolving cultural conversation on sexual assault.
“Young people are more likely to have contact with someone involved in a sexual assault or have those experiences themselves,” said Ryan. “And professionals are going to be tuned into sexual harassment policies in the workplace.”
Weinstein’s case is predicted to last many weeks, complicated by the publicity and public disgust towards the man widely seen as the biggest monster of the #MeToo movement.