The jury in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial is about to begin deliberating.
After the defense and the prosecution in the disgraced movie mogul's trial delivered their closing arguments at the end of last week, Judge James Burke on Tuesday will give jurors instructions before they start to deliberate, USA Today reports.
The sexual assault and rape charges against Weinstein center around the allegations of two women: Jessica Mann, who alleges Weinstein raped her in 2013, and Mimi Haleyi, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. Four other Weinstein accusers testified during the trial, while additional witnesses were brought in to back up the accusers' accounts. Testimony from Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra that Weinstein raped her in 1993 or 1994 could support the predatory sexual assault charge.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty, and his defense has argued the encounters with his accusers were consensual. His lawyers have pointed to the fact that Haleyi and Mann maintained relationships with Weinstein after he allegedly assaulted them, and they cited friendly email exchanges with him in court. During her closing argument, lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told jurors that Weinstein "made sure he had contact with the people he was worried about as a little check to make sure that one day, they wouldn't walk out from the shadows and call him exactly what he was: an abusive rapist."
Meanwhile, Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno in her closing argument asked jurors to use their "New York City common sense" and ignore the "gut feeling" they may have had coming into the case to rely only on the evidence presented. CBS analyst Rikki Klieman observed Tuesday the jury "may take a long time because there's a lot of evidence in this case."
Weinstein himself did not testify during the trial. If the jury, which consists of five women and seven men, convicts him of predatory sexual assault, he could receive life in prison.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.