According to the Chicago Tribune, attorneys of Benjamin Biancofiori, who is facing a trial over a series of charges pertaining to sex trafficking, are now asking a judge to delay the trial. They're citing the growing #MeToo movement in their request, saying that the recent high-profile disgracing of celebrities like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer will bias jurors.
“In view of the extraordinary attention to and enflamed (sic) societal passion on the subject of male sexual misconduct, Mr. Biancofiori cannot hope to select a jury that is untainted by the veritable flood of reporting on the subject,” Biancofiori’s legal representative, Andrea Gambino, wrote in a recent motion.
Gambino plans on creating a survey that would assess whether potential jurors have any involvement in the recent wave of social justice activism. Her goal is to assess whether participants in the trial have been tainted by “their own individual experiences with male sexual misconduct.”
The trial of Larry Nassar, the sports doctor recently sentenced to 175 years in jail after being found guilty of serial sexual abuse, was also cited by Gambino in her motion.
The office handling the case has yet to respond to the request for delay.
A manifesto on pimping written by Biancofiori may also be entered as evidence in the case, despite Gambino characterizing the text as an “incomplete work of fiction."
"An individual’s unpublished manuscript, clearly intended to be a novel or other work of fiction, is the embodiment of an individual’s ‘private inner sanctum of individual feeling and thought,'" Gambino said.
Victims testifying against Biancofiori say that he was abusive.
Biancofiori has an extensive criminal background and was granted leniency in a case in which one of his robbery victims committed suicide shortly after the crime occurred. The victim's parents had pushed the courts for mercy, and Biancofiori was given only a six-month sentence. The story was later featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Biancofiori has been arrested several times since. He was put in jail for 18 months following an arrest over a 2011 gun conviction and allegedly began a sex trafficking operation shortly after that, recruiting women through Facebook.
[Photo: DuPage County Sheriff's Office]