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Four Teamsters found not guilty in 'Top Chef' extortion trial

Four Teamsters found not guilty in 'Top Chef' extortion trial”

The men were acquitted of charges of conspiracy to extort and attempted extortion.

The prosecution showed a video of a confrontation at a Milton restaurant three years ago, claiming it showed the Teamsters verbally and physically harassing non-union people working on the show, including the hosts.

Lawyers for the men insisted they were merely demonstrating against the nonunion crew.

A jury has found four Teamsters not guilty on all charges in connection with accusations they intimidated the staff and crew of the "Top Chef" reality TV show when it was filming in the Boston area in 2014. Weinreb called their conduct "an affront to all of the hard-working and law-abiding members of organized labor".

Defense said the men were legally picketing the production, which had hired non-union workers.

A fifth union member, Mark Harrington, pleaded guilty.

Dan Redmond leaves federal court in Boston, August 10, 2017.

"It's been a long hard road for my client and his family, and for all these men", said Lapore. "I felt he was saying, 'I might hit you, '" she said.

Cafarelli was asked outside court if he thought City Hall was the "big loser" in the case-but he responded, "I think the four of us were the big losers".

"I felt he was bullying me".

Lakshmi claimed to have been directly threatened with violence by one of the Teamsters, and Simmons testified that she was terrified by the encounter at the Milton restaurant.

But in a note Monday, the third day of deliberations, the forewoman alerted Boston federal court Judge Douglas Woodlock to the juror's bias, saying the panel was "not sure how to proceed from here" and that "any suggestions would be helpful", Deadline reported. The judge wrote back and said that every person is presumed innocent unless guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. "Presumption is not a mere formality, it is a matter of the utmost importance".



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