LOS ANGELES (CNS) – In yet another courtroom outburst, a wealthy businessman involved in a fourth sexual harassment and battery trial since April called a judge “ridiculous” today for admonishing him against making facial expressions during the testimony of his accuser.
Plaintiff Mahim Khan had been on the witness stand throughout the morning session when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court issued her warning to 51-year-old Alki David just after the jury was excused for the lunch break.
David said he did not understand why the judge was concerned about the nature of his facial demeanor when, according to the defendant, Khan’s lawyers have been involved in acts that are “punishable by prison” in bringing the case against him.
“Is this where we are in America?” David asked. “These people and this lady are putting on a conspiracy of lies and you’re telling me about my facial expressions? You’re ridiculous. I’m leaving.”
The judge implored David to stay in the courtroom, but he left anyway. Court’s assistant told her a few moments later that David was shouting in the hallway about the judge’s remarks about his courtroom expressions and that two jurors could overhear him.
After the lunch break, the judge rejected a recommendation by Khan’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg, that David be excluded from the courtroom for the rest of the trial, saying she was reluctant to bar him altogether from a public forum.
The judge also said she had no authority to ban David from the courthouse, even though that could prevent him from making inappropriate remarks in front of jurors in the hallway. She said doing taking either action would raise too many constitutional action for the parties and the public.
David did not return for the afternoon session of the trial.