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Juror’s comment spurs new trial over religious bias concerns

March 5, 2019

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey appellate court has ordered a new civil trial for a doctor accused of sexual harassment because a juror commented that the doctor didn’t put his hand on the Bible when he testified to defend himself.

The three-judge panel found the juror’s remark about Abbas Husain, who is Hindu, could have compromised the verdict with religious bias.

A jury in 2011 had found Husain created a hostile work environment, sexually harassed and retaliated against a then-part time office employee. The complainant was awarded $12,500 and her lawyer was granted $103,000 in fees.

The juror’s comment was revealed after the trial judge held a post-verdict meeting with the jury.

A judge rejected Husain’s request for a new trial in 2016.

But the appellate panel found that the deliberations could be tainted.