A Los Angeles jury began deliberating Friday afternoon. A case of sexual assault of Harvey Weinstein, the former film producer accused of using his Hollywood influence to lure women into private meetings and assault them.
Jurors were instructed on the law and began deliberating after the prosecution presented its rebuttal argument.
“Raps do rap. You can see the pattern,” prosecutor Paul Thompson told jurors.
“You have overwhelming, irrefutable evidence of the nature of this man and what he did to these women,” Thompson said, urging the jury to “do the right thing” and “for these women. Seek justice.”
The defense has maintained that the allegations are either fabricated or consensual, highlighting that there is no proof of the allegations.
Weinstein, 70, is charged with two counts of aggravated rape and five counts of sexually assaulting four women — a model, a dancer, a massage therapist and a producer. He has pleaded not guilty to seven charges against him.
If convicted, Weinstein could face up to 60 years to life in prison and an additional five years.
Weinstein was convicted in New York in 2020 of criminal sexual act and third-degree rape and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Closing arguments from the defense and prosecution on Thursday brought the Los Angeles case closer to a verdict after the trial began in late October.
Throughout the trial, jurors heard from nearly 50 witnesses, including four defendants identified in court as Jane Does because of the nature of their allegations.
Four other women testified that they experienced similar behavior at the hands of Weinstein. Those alleged incidents are not being charged as part of the case because they occurred outside of Los Angeles County.
On Thursday, defense attorney Alan Jackson asked jurors if they could “accept what (Jean does) say as gospel.”
“Five words that sum up the prosecution’s entire case: ‘Take my word for it,'” Jackson said. “‘Take my word for it that he came to my hotel room unannounced. Take my word for it that I showed up at his hotel room. Take my word for it that I agreed. No. Take my word for it that I said no.
On Wednesday, the The prosecution presented its closing arguments.Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez called Weinstein a “titan” who used his power in Hollywood to prey on and silence women.
“The truth is, as you sit here, we know what abhorrent behavior the defendant engaged in. He thought he was powerful enough that people would condone his behavior. It’s just Harvey has to be Harvey. That’s just Hollywood. And that’s what everybody did for so long. Everybody just turned their heads,” Martinez said.
“It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end, and it is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice,” he added.
Weinstein is currently facing 23 years in prison after being convicted in New York in 2020 of felony sexual acts and third-degree rape.
The defense said the women’s accusers were “seekers of fame and fortune,” pointing out that some of the Jane Does made up their stories while others benefited from a “transactional relationship” with Weinstein. picked up.
Jennifer Sybil Newsom, one of the accusers who is a producer, actress and wife of the governor of California, Testified that Weinstein abused her. In 2005 Sybil Newsom described an hour-long “cat-and-mouse period” that preceded her alleged assault.
Weinstein’s defense does not deny the incident took place, but says it believes it was consensual.
Jackson described what happened between Weinstein and Sybil Newsom as “casual, transactional sex.”
“Sadness is not the same thing as rape. And it’s important that we make that distinction in this courtroom,” Jackson added.
Prosecutor Martinez said this was because Sybil Newsom continued to contact Weinstein after an alleged attack on her position in the industry at the time.
On Thursday, Martinez pointed out that the women know it will be difficult — “they’ll come to court and (Weinstein’s) lawyers will call (them) bimbos for being raped in open court.”
“They knew they were coming to court to put these defense attorneys on the stand, to embarrass them,” he said.