Prosecutors rest case in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial

Prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein’s rape demo rested their case on Thursday following extra than two months of testimony punctuated by harrowing accounts from 6 ladies, which include some who say he disregarded pleas these kinds of as “no no no” and justified his behaviour as the price of finding in advance in Hollywood.

Now Weinstein’s legal professionals will begin contacting witnesses of their possess as the landmark celebrity demo moves a person stage closer to a verdict. They have not stated no matter whether Weinstein himself will testify. Undertaking so could deliver significant hazards for the reason that prosecutors would be capable to grill him about every single of the allegations that jurors have presently heard about in vivid detail.

When the prosecution rested, Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno straight away requested the decide to dismiss the case, arguing that testimony from the lady he is charged with raping “does not in any way show a forcible act by Mr. Weinstein.” The decide rejected the request.

The defence’s 1st witness, an field executive who stays a Weinstein ally, seemed blindsided when a prosecutor confronted him with textual content messages that appeared to justify the film mogul’s behaviour and bash his accusers.

Paul Feldsher, a previous agent who when knew accuser Annabella Sciorra, scolded Weinstein in November 2018 for “behaving like a cad.” But in another message study to the jury, he stuck up for Weinstein, telling him: “I believe the puppy pile of actresses who are all of a sudden courageous and recalling repressed memories are hideous.”

On Friday, the defence is envisioned to phone is a psychologist who specializes in memory. The defence is seeking to raise uncertainties about the women’s recollections of encounters that in some circumstances are extra than a ten years or two previous.

The legal rates at the demo in New York City are centered on two allegations: that Weinstein raped a lady in March 2013 and that he compelled oral intercourse on another woman in 2006. The allegations against Weinstein aided fuel the #MeToo motion. If convicted, he could invest the relaxation of his daily life in prison.

Legal professional Donna Rotunno is noticed arriving at court this 7 days. Weinstein’s legal professionals will seem to raise uncertainties about his accusers’ recollections of encounters that in some circumstances are extra than a ten years or two previous. (Richard Drew/The Connected Press)

Weinstein, 67, maintains that any sexual encounters had been consensual. But using the witness stand to say so could be risky.

“I convey to my customers, ‘Once you choose the stand, you have shed your defend which is me, and you are on your possess,'” stated defence law firm Brian McMonagle, who aided protected a mistrial in Invoice Cosby’s 1st sexual assault demo in 2017. Cosby was later convicted.

“In my working experience as a prosecutor and defence attorney, it is unusual to see a customer choose the stand,” he stated. “The trouble is that some jurors do hold that against you.”

In addition to the two key accusers, other ladies have been permitted to testify in the New York case as as prosecutors attempt to show there was a practiced technique to alleged Weinstein’s attacks, which include inviting ladies to his resort room to go over company, then disrobing and demanding sexual favours.

Prosecutors finished their case following the final of those other accusers completed telling jurors about about an encounter with Weinstein in 2013.

Lauren Marie Youthful, a model from suburban Philadelphia, testified that Weinstein invited her to his Beverly Hills resort room, lured her to the bathroom, stripped off his outfits, pulled down her dress and groped her breast. Her allegation is part of a legal case that was submitted against Weinstein in California just as this demo was finding underway.

Her testimony bookended that of Sciorra, the 1st accuser to testify. She alleges Weinstein barged into her apartment in the mid-1990s, threw her on a mattress and raped her as she tried to fight him off by kicking and punching him.

Actress Annabella Sciorra was the 1st accuser to testify. She alleges Weinstein barged into her apartment and raped her as she tried to fight him off. (Richard Drew/The Connected Press)

In between, jurors heard equivalent tales of Weinstein ingratiating himself with a great deal more youthful ladies, showing to show desire in aiding their professions in advance of finding them into a resort room or an apartment and violating them.

Most had been aspiring actresses. Sciorra was a star on the increase. One more, the 2006 accuser Mimi Haleyi, was seeking to get extra included in powering-the-scenes factors of the entertainment company.

Each sides reference e-mails

Around the past two months, jurors also had been reminded of the complexity of the women’s associations with Weinstein.

For example, the lady Weinstein is charged with raping confronted three times of questioning, a great deal of it on cross-assessment, as Weinstein’s legal professionals scoured pleasant, in some cases flirtatious e-mails she sent the movie producer following the alleged assault.

The lady acknowledged meeting Weinstein for other sexual encounters. She stated she kept in touch for the reason that “his moi was so fragile,” and that contacting him “made me experience safe and sound.”

At a person level, Weinstein law firm Rotunno requested the lady why she would take favours from “your rapist.”

The lady turned to jurors and declared: “I want the jury to know that he is my rapist.”

On Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors emails that recommended it was Weinstein hoping to retain their complex partnership afloat, pining for meetings with messages like “R u meeting me or forgetting me…”

The Connected Press has a policy of not publishing the names of individuals who allege sexual assault without having their consent. It is withholding name of the rape accuser for the reason that it is not apparent if she needs to be discovered publicly.

Prosecutors tried to thwart the defence’s aim on some of the women’s continued interactions with Weinstein by contacting to the witness stand a forensic psychiatrist who specializes in sufferer behaviour.

Dr. Barbara Ziv, who testified at the 2018 retrial that led to Cosby’s sexual assault conviction in Pennsylvania, stated most victims in these kinds of circumstances continue on to have get hold of with their attackers for fear of retaliation and for the reason that quite a few hope what happened “is just an aberration.”

The demo has moved considerably quicker than any individual included anticipated. Jurors had been originally advised to expect 6 months of testimony. Now the case could be made the decision by mid February.

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