the weinstein trial
February 21, 2020

The jury in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial has indicated it's facing a potential deadlock on the most serious charges against him.

During the fourth day of deliberations on Friday, jurors in the Weinstein rape trial asked what they should do if they can't reach a verdict on the two predatory sexual assault charges, but can on the other three, Variety reports.

Weinstein is facing sexual assault and rape charges stemming from the allegations of Mimi Haleyi, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, and Jessica Mann, who alleges Weinstein raped her in 2013. But among the other accusers who testified was Annabella Sciorra, who alleges Weinstein raped her in 1993 or 1994.

Sciorra testified to support the two charges of predatory sexual assault, and it's her testimony that jurors have appeared to be focused on in recent days. On Friday, they revisited her cross-examination, and earlier in the week, they asked the judge to clarify why it is Weinstein didn't face charges specifically stemming from Sciorra's allegation. Her case is too old to prosecute, but the first count of predatory sexual assault relates to the allegations of Haleyi and Sciorra, while the second count relates to the allegations of Mann and Sciorra, The Wrap reports. Weinstein is also facing charges of criminal sexual act in the first degree, rape in the first-degree, and rape in the third-degree.

The prosecution on Friday said they wouldn't accept a "partial verdict," and the judge instructed jurors to continue deliberations, per The Hollywood Reporter. Not long after, the jury was dismissed for the day, with deliberations set to pick back up on Monday. Brendan Morrow

February 20, 2020

Another day of jury deliberations in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial has wrapped, but we still don't have a verdict.

The jury concluded its third day of deliberations on Thursday, sending a note to the court near the very end of the day, The Wrap reports. The jury reportedly wanted to revisit the cross-examination of Annabella Sciorra, whose allegation that Weinstein raped her in 1993 or 1994 is being used to support the charges of predatory sexual assault. The jury also wanted to revisit all of Sciorra's subsequent testimony, Deadline reports.

Because the request came close to the end of the day, this testimony will be read back to jurors "first thing" on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The jury also asked to see a list of people Sciorra says she told about the alleged rape, but the request was denied since this wasn't entered into evidence, per Deadline.

The jury on Thursday reportedly reviewed evidence having to do with both Sciorra's testimony and the testimony of Mimi Haleyi, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, Variety reports. Haleyi's claim is central to the case, and Weinstein is facing charges over both Haleyi's allegation and the allegation of Jessica Mann, who alleges the disgraced producer raped her in 2013.

The Reporter notes that "of the seven notes that the jurors have sent to the judge, several have related to Sciorra's allegations against Weinstein, suggesting the panel has been laser-focused on her case." None of the questions so far have had to do with Mann's allegation.

Weinstein is facing potential life in prison. Jury deliberations will continue on Friday morning.

Brendan Morrow

February 19, 2020

The Harvey Weinstein jury is headed into the second day of deliberations after wrapping up Tuesday with no verdict reached.

The disgraced movie mogul is facing sexual assault and rape charges and has pleaded not guilty. At the center of the case are Mimi Haleyi's allegation that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 and Jessica Mann's allegation that Weinstein raped her in 2013. Four other accusers testified in the trial, including Annabella Sciorra, whose testimony is being used to support the charge of predatory sexual assault.

On Tuesday, the jury asked why there are no "stand-alone" charges in Sciorra's case, which is too old to prosecute, Deadline reports. This question, Deadline observes, could indicate jurors have "some confusion about Sciorra's role in the trial." The judge instructed the jury not to speculate on any charges other than the ones before them.

The jury also asked for the legal definition of the charges and clarification about the circumstances under which they can find Weinstein guilty of some counts but not others. The jurors have an "intricate task" ahead of them, The Wrap notes, as they cannot find him guilty on all five counts. For example, as The Wrap explains, "If the jury finds Weinstein guilty of count three, predatory sexual assault (pertaining to Mann and Sciorra), then the jurors must disregard counts four and five, which are the two rape charges connected to Mann's account."

Jurors asked as well to review a blueprint of the apartment where Haleyi alleges Weinstein assaulted her, as well as emails where Weinstein listed out to a private investigator the names of women he thought could be cooperating with Ronan Farrow.

Jury deliberations are set to resume on Wednesday morning. Brendan Morrow

February 18, 2020

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.

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. Brendan Morrow

February 14, 2020

Harvey Weinstein, an "abusive rapist," saw his alleged victims as "ants who he could step on" but ultimately "underestimated" them, lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told jurors Friday as his rape trial nears its end.

After the defense in Weinstein's trial rested its case earlier this week and made its closing argument Thursday, Illuzzi on Friday began to wrap the prosecution's case, saying the disgraced producer saw himself as "the master of his universe, and the witnesses here were really ants who he could step on without consequences," per The Hollywood Reporter.

Weinstein is facing sexual assault and rape charges stemming from the allegations of two women, one of whom alleges he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 and one of whom alleges he raped her in 2013. Four additional accusers testified in the trial. Weinstein's defense has argued the encounters were consensual and throughout the trial has pointed to witnesses maintaining contact with Weinstein.

But Illuzzi in her closing argument said Weinstein "made sure he had contact" with the women "to make sure that one day they wouldn't call him for exactly what he was: an abusive rapist," Variety reports. "Well, he was wrong." For this reason, Illuzzi said Weinstein "underestimated them."

Defense attorney Donna Rotunno on Thursday suggested one of Weinstein's accusers, Annabella Sciorra, made up her rape claim against him in order to become "relevant" and a "star." Illuzzi in her closing argument strongly refuted this idea.

"How Hollywood movie star is it for Annabella Sciorra to have to tell you that she was cutting herself and she was dabbing her blood with a tissue, putting it on the wall, and putting gold foil over it?” Illuzzi asked, per the Reporter. "Do you think that's a career booster?"

Following the conclusion of closing arguments, the jury is set to begin deliberations next week. Weinstein is facing the possibility of life in prison. Brendan Morrow

February 13, 2020

Harvey Weinstein's attorney accused prosecutors Thursday of creating a fictional "universe" that "strips women of common sense" and "autonomy" while wrapping her case in his rape trial.

Attorney Donna Rotunno made her closing argument after the defense rested earlier this week, telling jurors that prosecutors have told them "a story" about the disgraced producer because the facts aren't on their side.

"The irony is that the ADAs [assistant district attorneys] in the case are the producer, and they are writing the script," she said, The Wrap reports. "In their story, they've created a universe that strips women of common sense, autonomy. In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel invitations, the plane tickets they accept."

Weinstein is facing sexual assault and rape charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty. The trial has centered around the accusations of two women, one of whom alleges he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 and another who alleges he raped her in 2013. Six accusers testified as prosecutors sought to establish a pattern of criminal behavior. Weinstein's attorneys argued the women had consensual encounters with him; he has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex acts.

Rotunno, who was recently criticized for saying in an interview she hasn't been sexually assaulted "because I would never put myself in that position," asked the jury to use their "New York City common sense" and ignore the "gut feeling" they may have had coming into the trial while evaluating the evidence, per The Hollywood Reporter. She also told the jury they're the "last line of defense in this country from the overzealous media, from the overzealous prosecutors."

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi will make her closing argument on Friday, and jury deliberations are set to begin next week. Brendan Morrow

February 11, 2020

The Harvey Weinstein rape trial is nearing the start of jury deliberations, as the defense has just rested its case.

Weinstein's defense did so in court Tuesday after announcing that the disgraced producer himself won't testify, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This came following four days of witness testimony.

Among those called by Weinstein's defense was Claudia Salinas, a model who on Monday denied accuser Lauren Young's previous testimony. Young told jurors that Weinstein groped her in a hotel bathroom and that Salinas closed the door behind them. "That's when I realized, 'this was set up, she put me in here,'" Young testified. Salinas testified that this "never happened" and that "if I had done that, I would remember that," the Associated Press reports. "I would never close the door on anybody," she also said. In a statement to the AP, Salinas called Young's account "fictitious and flat out untrue."

Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006, although a total of six accusers testified against him in the trial. He has pleaded not guilty and denied allegations of non-consensual sex. If convicted, he's facing potential life in prison.

Lawyers for Weinstein told NBC News he wanted to testify in the trial, but they decided against it. Closing arguments are now set to begin Thursday, Deadline reports, while the jury is expected to begin deliberating next week. Brendan Morrow

February 6, 2020

The prosecution has officially rested its case in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial.

Following weeks of testimony from six women accusing the former movie producer of sexual misconduct, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said in court Thursday prosecutors had concluded their case, USA Today reports.

This followed some additional questioning of Lauren Young, an actress and model who on Wednesday became the sixth and final accuser to testify in the trial, alleging Weinstein in 2013 groped her in a hotel bathroom. Her allegations are not part of Weinstein's criminal charges, but she was called as one of several women to establish a pattern of behavior.

Previously, the two women at the center of the case testified, with Jessica Mann alleging Weinstein raped her in 2013 and Mimi Haleyi alleging he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. Additionally, Tarale Wulff and Annabella Sciorra testified that Weinstein raped them, and Dawn Dunning testified he groped her, per CNN. Other women were also called to corroborate the accusers' accounts.

Weinstein's attorney grilled Young on Thursday about the details of her allegation, with Young conceding a detail she told prosecutors in 2019 was incorrect and that she had since "recollected all my memories and retraced all my steps," per USA Today. Over the course of the trial, Weinstein's defense has also sought to undermine his accusers' accounts by pointing to friendly emails they wrote to him afterward. Judge James Burke said Thursday the jury would hear from the defense's witnesses "over the next three to four days. Maybe more, maybe less."

Weinstein, who CNN reports is not expected to testify, has pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault and rape charges against him. If convicted, he faces potential life in prison. Based on the trial's faster-than-expected pace, The Associated Press writes it "could be decided by mid-February." Brendan Morrow

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