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The trial had begun earlier in the week without the jury being sequestered.“Procedural matters have arisen that require the court to conduct an evidentiary hearing outside of your presence. Because of that, the jury will be sequestered,” Johnson said.

Before the jury was brought into court Thursday morning, Deputy Antelope County Attorney Joe Smith told Johnson the cross-examination of a witness Wednesday by the defense again violated a motion in limine by bringing up psychiatric issues of the witness and tying that into credibility.

But while many people would have been terrified by the strictly forbidden interaction, the fearless New Yorker said she was merely struck by the brazenness of the reputed gangster. I’m saying ‘crew’ because I don’t know what else to say, his crew that was all over that side, I guess waiting for somebody to come out or something,” she said.

Asked to describe Merlino’s approach, the juror said, “Not close, but, like, he was on that side, on the opposite side over there, before you get to the exit, and he just said, ‘Hi, Sylvia,’ and I just turned my head, like, ‘Some nerve.’ ” The juror, whose last name is being withheld by The Post, said she didn’t respond to Merlino — who beat three murder raps in 2001 — but noted he wasn’t alone. When Sullivan asked if the incident would affect the juror’s ability to be fair and impartial to the defendant, she said, “No, not at all.” Back in the courtroom, Sullivan gave a stern tongue-lashing to Merlino, who earlier had denied ever greeting or speaking to the juror. Merlino, you are to have no contact with jurors, even to say, ‘Good morning,’ even to say, ‘Hello.’ Do you understand? Merlino — whose wife, Deborah, was startled by a snitch’s testimony Wednesday that the wiseguy had been cheating on her — mumbled something in response, prompting the judge to admonish him again.

Bjorn Samstrom, a 41-year-old man from near Uppsala allegedly threatened to kill the girls he met over social networks or post photos of them on pornography sites, unless they performed sexual acts, including bestiality, in front of webcams as he watched. No one in Sweden has ever been convicted of rape for deeds that occurred over the internet — let alone on another continent — but prosecutors are hoping to set a precedent, she said.“We’re really challenging the court now with this case,” admitted Wennerström in an interview from Stockholm.“It’s only the sexual predator’s imagination that sets the limits. So we have to adapt our mindset to, ‘What can a rape be? You don’t always have to have the textbook case of a physical attack or physical coercion.”Under Swedish law, rape is the most serious form of sexual crime; it does not have to involve intercourse, but does require an act deemed to be as serious a violation of sexual integrity as intercourse.

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