A potential juror for Harvey Weinstein's rape case in New York City has been threatened with jail time for writing about the trial online.
Howard Mittelmark, one of 12 people chosen as a prospective member of the jury last week (ends10Jan20), was met with a summons when he returned to court on Thursday in New York City for divulging details of the proceedings on Twitter.
"I'm asking you to retain a lawyer and return to this courtroom on Tuesday March 10, 2020, with an attorney to show cause why I should not find you in contempt," Judge James Burke told the man in the courtroom while dismissing him from the jury pool.
"You face a fine and up to 30 days in jail," the justice added.
The defence team brought Mittelmark's tweet, a violation of the oath of secrecy he had to take as part of the court proceedings, to Judge Burke's attention last week, noting he was intent on promoting his new book to his more than 7000 Twitter followers.
"If anyone knows how a person might hypothetically leverage serving on the jury of a high-profile case to promote their new novel, (REDACTED), which (REDACTED) called 'a darkly funny book' and 'a witty black comedy,' dm (direct message) me, please," Mittelmark's now-deleted message reads.
The jury drama occurred the same day model Gigi Hadid was dismissed from the Manhattan Supreme Court jury pool for the Weinstein case.
Former Miramax film executive Weinstein is charged with two counts of predatory sex assault, two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sex act, stemming from the allegations of three women.
The trial is set to begin on 22 January. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
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