BREAKING: Jurors in Hollywood Harvey Weinstein rape trial are sent out to deliberate case that could see pervert ex-movie mogul jailed for another 60 years
- The jury has received the case and are set to begin deliberations Friday afternoon in the Los Angeles trial of Harvey Weinstein
- Jurors have to decide on two rape counts and five other sexual assault counts
- Jury heard more than four weeks of evidence in the trial of the 70-year-old former movie mogul
- Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction in New York and could be sentenced to more than 60 years in prison in California if convicted
- Prosecution gave its rebuttal to the defense’s closing argument Friday morning,
- Jurors received their final instructions from Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench before leaving on a lunch break
- They will have just a few more hours to deliberate before a weekend break
Jurors in Los Angeles began deciding the fate of Harvey Weinstein on Friday, weighing rape and sex abuse charges that could see the former Hollywood titan jailed for the rest of his life.
A weeks-long trial has heard graphic descriptions of encounters in California hotel rooms between the once-powerful producer and women who were trying to make their way in the world of movies.
Prosecutors have painted a picture of a predatory ogre, who used his physical and professional prowess to rape and abuse women for years with impunity.
His victims were left terrorized and afraid for their careers if they spoke out against a man who dominated Tinseltown for decades, the lawyers said.
Weinstein, the ‘Pulp Fiction’ producer who is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York for a series of attacks, denies the raft of Los Angeles charges.
His attorney has sought to portray accusers either as liars who never had sex with his client, or as women who willingly lay on the casting couch, swapping sex for a leg up in the notoriously competitive world of filmmaking.
Harvey Weinstein faces more than 100 years in jail if convicted of rape and sex abuse charges in Los Angeles, in addition to the sentence he is already serving for his crimes in New York
Harvey Weinstein was a ‘predator’ with unmistakable patterns who used his Hollywood power to lure women into meetings, sexually assault them and escape the consequences, a prosecutor said in closing arguments at the former movie mogul’s Los Angeles trial this week
Weinstein, now 70, is charged with seven sex-related counts involving four women, one of whom has been identified by her lawyer as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
‘It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end,’ prosecutor Marlene Martinez told the jury in her closing argument on Thursday.
‘It is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice.’
Weinstein, who was credited with making the careers of household names like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow, used his power to prey on and silence women, Martinez said.
The jury heard testimony from women who said they had been tricked into being alone with the ‘Shakespeare in Love’ producer in his hotel room.
Several described how they had begged him to stop as he forced himself on them, made them perform oral sex on him, or watch him masturbate, sometimes as he groped them.
‘We know the despicable behavior the defendant engaged in,’ Martinez told the jury.
‘He thought he was so powerful that people would… excuse his behavior.
”That’s just Harvey being Harvey. That’s just Hollywood.’ And for so long that’s what everyone did. Everyone just turned their heads.’
Defending Weinstein, Alan Jackson told the jury the prosecution had failed to provide evidence that any of the sexual encounters were anything but consensual.
The entirety of the prosecution’s case could be summed up with five words — ‘Take my word for it,’ he said.
Harvey Weinstein is charged with raping and sexually assaulting two women and committing sexual battery against two others in an LA trial. He is pictured appearing in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, in October 2022
Two of the four women at the center of the charges described encounters that never happened, he said.
The two others were women who knowingly engaged in transactional sex and now regretted it, Jackson said, part of what he called a ‘dogpile’ on Weinstein in the wake of the explosion of the #MeToo movement.
Referring to Siebel Newsom, he said she ‘cannot square in her mind that she’s a successful, well-educated, well-bred, refined woman who had consensual sex with Harvey Weinstein in exchange for opportunity and access.
‘Regret is far from rape. You don’t get to rewrite your own history no matter who you’re married to.’
Weinstein did not testify in his own defense.
If convicted, he could face more than 100 years in jail.
Among his accusers is Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom , who testified that Weinstein raped her at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005. Pictured: The Newsoms in 2019
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