NEW YORK (Reuters) – The jury in former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial concluded its first day of deliberations on Tuesday, in a circumstance that has come to be a milestone for the #MeToo motion.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein comes at New York Criminal Court for his sexual assault trial in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The Manhattan jury of 7 guys and five women began their conversations following the decide hearing the circumstance warned Weinstein’s guide protection lawyer, Donna Rotunno, towards speaking to the push until jurors have achieved a verdict.
The warning arrived two days following the attorney wrote an viewpoint piece about the circumstance in Newsweek journal.
“I would caution you about the tentacles of your community relations juggernaut,” Justice James Burke informed Rotunno.
Rotunno informed Burke that the viewpoint piece, printed on Saturday and titled “Jurors in my customer Harvey Weinstein’s circumstance have to search earlier the headlines,” was not intended to handle the jury right.
“This is an op-ed about the jury process as a full, about the prison justice process as a full,” she reported.
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi questioned Burke to revoke Weinstein’s bail and jail him, stating he have to have authorised the Newsweek viewpoint piece, which she reported “borders on tampering with the jury.” The decide did not act on the ask for.
Weinstein has pleaded not responsible to sexually assaulting former output assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, in 2013.
Just after court wrapped up on Tuesday, Weinstein replied that he was feeling “good” when questioned how he was feeling now that the circumstance was in the jury’s hands.
He faces life in jail if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.
A unanimous verdict is needed for a conviction.
Considering that 2017, extra than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Weinstein, who was at the rear of films which includes “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” has denied the allegations and reported any sexual encounters were being consensual.
The allegations fueled the #MeToo motion, in which women have accused effective guys in company, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.
Just after deliberating for less than an hour, the jury sent a take note inquiring for clarification of their legal guidance, which Burke furnished.
Afterwards in the afternoon, they asked for exhibits, which includes a blueprint of the apartment the place Weinstein allegedly assaulted Haleyi and a 2017 electronic mail he sent to a non-public investigator with a list of women highlighted as “red flags.”
The list incorporated Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Weinstein entered her New York apartment just one winter season night time in 1993 or 1994 and raped her. The accusation is as well previous to be billed as a separate criminal offense, but it could act as an aggravating issue to assistance a charge of predatory sexual assault.
Prosecutors have reported the electronic mail is proof that Weinstein tried out to prevent Sciorra and other accusers from going community with their accusations.
Final week, jurors read closing arguments from legal professionals on equally sides. Defense attorney Rotunno argued that the encounters experienced been consensual, pointing to helpful communications from the women to Weinstein following they were being allegedly assaulted. She assailed the trustworthiness of the accusers and urged the jury to place apart their feelings and use popular sense in evaluating the proof.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi urged jurors to convict Weinstein, stating the at the time-effective producer made use of his position in the movie market to prey on women and that those who testified towards him experienced no explanation to lie.
Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York Enhancing by Noeleen Walder and Jonathan Oatis