Harvey Weinstein Jury Signifies Break up on Most Critical Fees as Deliberations Proceed
Jurors weighing Harvey Weinstein’s fate indicated Friday they had been deadlocked on essentially the most critical prices dealing with the previous film mogul—two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carry a most sentence of life imprisonment.
However the seven men and five women, who didn’t say if they’d unanimously agreed on rape and sexual assault prices additionally dealing with Weinstein, had been despatched again for extra deliberations by the choose within the case. They’ll return Monday for his or her fifth day of deliberations.
If convicted of rape and sexual assault, however not predatory sexual assault, Weinstein, 67, nonetheless might withstand 25 years in jail. Prosecutors, although, have stated they need a full, not a partial, verdict, and convicting Weinstein on all prices can be triumphant for the #MeToo motion and for the handfuls of ladies whose claims helped topple the previous Hollywood titan.
Lots of these claims date again to the 1990s—too far again to have been prosecuted beneath the statute of limitations. That’s the place the cost apparently hanging up the jury—predatory sexual assault—is available in. By having witnesses testify about alleged assaults from way back, prosecutors hoped to get the longest doable sentence for Weinstein by convincing jurors that he had preyed on girls for many years, and was not simply responsible of the 2013 and 2006 assaults on the middle of this trial.
Key to that effort was the testimony of Emmy-nominated “Sopranos” actor Annabella Sciorra, who has accused Weinstein of raping her within the early 1990s and who was one of many first prosecution witnesses.
On Friday morning—as Weinstein regarded on, chewing gum—the jurors watched a reenactment by courtroom aides of Sciorra’s testimony. Sciorra claimed Weinstein pushed his approach into her Manhattan condominium and raped her greater than 25 years in the past after they’d had dinner with different folks at a restaurant.
After coming back from a lunch break within the afternoon, the jury despatched its word to Burke saying it couldn’t resolve on the predatory sexual assault counts. Weinstein confirmed no emotion because the attorneys on either side and the choose conferred.
In ordering them to return to deliberations, Decide James Burke stated: “Any verdict you return on any count, whether guilty or not guilty, must be unanimous.”
The opposite prices in opposition to Weinstein middle on allegations made by Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actor who stated Weinstein raped her in 2013, and Mimi Haleyi, a former “Project Runway” manufacturing assistant, who claimed Weinstein forcibly carried out oral intercourse on her in 2006. (Haleyi’s identify has additionally been spelled Haley in some courtroom paperwork.)
Earlier within the week, the jury listened once more to Haleyi’s description of how Weinstein ripped out her tampon in his condominium regardless of her pleas for him to cease. Haleyi stated she repeatedly instructed Weinstein “no” when he first “lunged” at her and tried to kiss her, however she stated he ultimately led her to a room, pushed her down on a mattress and held her down by her arms. She stated she thought of screaming and fleeing however determined the “safest thing” was to cease preventing.
Haleyi later testified that she felt “embarrassed” and blamed herself for agreeing to satisfy with Weinstein about two weeks later at a lodge, the place she stated she didn’t struggle him after they had intercourse. “He led me onto the bed, and I didn’t resist physically. I just laid there,” she stated. “I felt like an idiot, and I felt numb.”
Jurors additionally requested to listen to once more the testimony of Sciorra’s pal and fellow actor Rosie Perez, who talked in regards to the second Sciorra instructed her she had been raped.
They’ve requested to see a slideshow presentation by forensic psychiatrist Barbara Ziv, who debunked “rape myths” she stated society clings to—that the majority assaults are dedicated by strangers, that victims sometimes scream and attempt to run away and that they instantly report assaults.
Ziv, who was additionally an skilled witness in comic Invoice Cosby’s sexual assault trial, testified as prosecutors sought to undermine defense claims that Weinstein’s accusers haven’t behaved like girls who had been scared of Weinstein or who felt threatened by him.
The primary word jurors despatched, lower than an hour into deliberations Tuesday, confirmed they may have been confused about a number of the prices. They requested for authorized definitions on a number of the language Burke utilized in his directions to them, together with “forcible compulsion.”
They’ve despatched 11 notes thus far, Burke stated, however some have been unrelated to proof. In a single memo, they requested to have the courtroom’s home windows shut. In one other, which prompted laughter within the courtroom from practically everybody however Weinstein, they wrote: “We are done, judge, for today.”
For the reason that trial started on Jan. 6, Weinstein’s attorneys have argued the sexual encounters had been consensual. In her closing arguments, protection lawyer Donna Rotunno instructed jurors that prosecutors had concocted for them an “alternative universe” during which Weinstein is a “monster,” however that they didn’t have the proof or police testimony to again up their case.
“In their universe,” Rotunno stated, “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 room invitations, the plane tickets they accept, the jobs they ask for help to obtain.”