California

A Los Angeles jury heads to an 10th day of deliberations Monday in Harvey Weinstein’s 2nd sexual assault trial



CNN

A Los Angeles jury will meet Monday on Day 10 in the second sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, the former film producer who is accused of using his Hollywood influence to lure women into private meetings and assault them .

The jury had been deliberating for about 37 hours when it adjourned Wednesday. The jury will return Monday morning based on agreed jury schedules on Thursday and Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court spokesman Justin Strout said.

Weinstein, who is awaiting a ruling from prison, faces two counts of violent rape and five counts of sexual assault related to allegations by four women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who claimed Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in 2005.

He has pleaded not guilty to all seven charges against him. He initially faced 11 charges, but four charges relating to an unnamed woman were dropped after she failed to testify.

Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence on a sexual assault conviction in New York. He faces 60 years to life in prison plus an additional five years if a Los Angeles jury finds him guilty.

As of Tuesday night, the jury had been deliberating longer than the New York jury in Weinstein’s first criminal trial, in which he was convicted after 26 hours of deliberation on criminal sex offense and third-degree rape charges.

His attorneys have appealed that conviction in New York, which has drawn more attention to the outcome of the Los Angeles trial.

The weeks-long trial in Los Angeles saw emotional testimonies from Weinstein’s accusers, each of whom were asked to provide details of their allegations against him, details of meetings with the producer years ago, and their reactions to the alleged assaults.

As deliberations continued, the Los Angeles jury asked the court a question last Friday, according to court documents released to the media on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Superior Court declined to comment on the issue.

The jury requested a further review of testimonies during Wednesday’s deliberations, which will be taken on Monday, the spokesman said. He did not say what the requested testimony entailed.

The jury also requested a reading of the Dec. 6 testimony, which was read the next morning, the document said. No details were shared as to what specifically was read back.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Marlene Martinez called Weinstein a “titan” who used his power in Hollywood to loot and silence women.

“Rapists rape. You can look at the pattern,” fellow prosecutor Paul Thompson told the jury.

“You have irrefutable, overwhelming evidence of the nature of this man and what he did to these women,” Thompson said.

Meanwhile, Weinstein’s attorneys have claimed the allegations were either fabricated or arose consensually as part of a “transactional relationship” with the film’s producer, repeatedly saying there was no evidence of an assault.

Defense attorney Alan Jackson called the accusers “fame and fortune seekers.”

The Los Angeles trial included testimony from the four accusers, identified in court as Jane Does, and other witnesses, including experts, law enforcement, accusers’ friends and Weinstein’s former aides.

In addition, four women testified that they had been exposed to similar incidents by Weinstein in other jurisdictions.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom testifies on November 14th.

Each morning in court, Weinstein was brought out of a correctional facility and wheeled into the Los Angeles courtroom in a suit and tie and carrying a notebook.

His accusers began their often emotional statements by identifying him in the courtroom as he watched.

“He’s wearing a suit and a blue tie and he’s staring at me,” Siebel told Newsom last month, ahead of one of the most emotional moments of the trial.

Last Thursday, Defense Attorney Jackson asked jurors if they “could accept what[Jane Does]says is gospel,” arguing what they said was a lack of forensic evidence to support their claim.

“Five words that sum up the entire prosecution case: ‘Believe me,'” Jackson said. “‘Believe me, he showed up unannounced in my hotel room. Believe me, I showed up in his hotel room. Take my word for not agreeing. Take my word for saying no.’ ”

Siebel Newsom described an hour-long “cat-and-mouse period” that preceded her alleged attack. She, along with other accusers, described feeling “frozen” that day.

Weinstein’s attorneys are not denying the incident but said he believes it was consensual.

Jackson called the incident “consensual, transactional sex,” adding, “Regret is not the same as rape. And it’s important that we make that distinction in this courtroom.”

Women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, representing Jane Doe 2 in the case, told CNN she hopes the jury will see that her client “has absolutely no motive to do anything other than tell the truth.”

“She has never sought or received compensation … She no longer lives in California. But she is testifying because she was asked to testify, and I hope that they will see her as the young woman she was when she met Harvey Weinstein and the woman she is now about nine to ten years later. Her life has changed,” Allred said.

“The willingness to submit to what could be a very brutal cross-examination. It takes a very special person to do that. And she is a special person. I’m very proud,” Allred said.

In her closing arguments, Martinez also highlighted that the women who testified chose to do so despite knowing they would face harsh conditions in court.

“The truth is that as you sit here, we know of the despicable behavior of the defendant. He thought he was so powerful that people would… condone his behavior,” Martinez said. “It’s just Harvey being Harvey. This is just Hollywood. And for so long everyone did. Everyone just turned their heads.”

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