Menendez jurors hear descriptions of upscale resorts

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

Jurors in the corruption trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor have heard descriptions of trips to upscale Dominican Republic resorts that Menendez took on the donor's dime.

Prosecutors allege they were part of a bribery agreement between the senator and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. Both men deny the allegations.

Witnesses testified Monday about Punta Cana and Casa de Campo, where Melgen has a villa.

The prosecution showed the jury photos of the Casa de Campo resort, which is a popular vacation destination for such celebrities at Beyoncé and Alex Rodriguez. Prosecutors say that the resort’s amenities are examples of the bribes Melgen offered Menendez in exchange for political favors.

Jurors also heard that Melgen spent more than $20,000 to charter a private jet in 2007 when Menendez traveled back to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic and Melgen's plane was unavailable.

Defense attorneys contend the favors were merely evidence of the long-term friendship between the two.

Judge William Walls yelled at attorneys again Monday and asked the jury to leave for a time. Walls accused both sides of dragging out the trial with unnecessary information. He also accused them of insulting the jury by asking unnecessary questions as if the jury was “stupid.”

The trial will resume Tuesday.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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