A jury in Los Angeles will continue its deliberations Monday morning in the 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 began deliberating Friday afternoon after hearing the prosecutor’s closing remarks and were briefed by the judge on the law.
“Rapists rape. You can look at the pattern,” prosecutor Paul Thompson told jurors, urging the group to “find justice for these victims.”
“You have irrefutable, overwhelming evidence of the nature of this man and what he did to these women,” Thompson said.
“Do the right thing,” added the attorney.
The defense has claimed that the allegations were either fabricated or consensual, stressing that there is no evidence to support the allegations.
Weinstein, 70, is charged with two counts of violent rape and five counts of sexual assault involving four women; a model, a dancer, a masseur and a producer. He has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against him.
If the jury finds him guilty, Weinstein faces 60 years in prison plus an additional five years.
Weinstein was convicted of one criminal sex act and one third-degree rape during a 2020 trial in New York and is currently serving a 23-year sentence for those crimes. His lawyers have appealed the conviction.
Thursday marked the end of closing arguments from both prosecutors and defense, bringing the week-long trial one step closer to a verdict.
The jury heard from about 50 witnesses, including four accusers, who were identified in court as Jane Does because of the nature of their allegations.
Four other women testified that they were subjected to similar behavior at Weinstein’s hands. These alleged incidents are not being charged as part of this case because they occurred outside of Los Angeles County.
Midway through the trial, four of the original 11 charges against Weinstein linked to a fifth Jane Doe were dropped without explanation.
On Thursday, defense attorney Alan Jackson asked jurors if they “could accept what[Jane Does]is saying as gospel,” arguing what they said was a lack of forensic evidence to support their claim.
“Five words that sum up the entire prosecution’s case: ‘Take my word for it,'” 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.’ ”
Jackson called the accusers “fame and fortune seekers” and claimed they either made up their stories or benefited from a “transactional relationship” with Weinstein.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, one of the prosecutors, producer, actress and wife of the California governor, testified that Weinstein raped her in 2005 and described an hour-long “cat-and-mouse period” that preceded her alleged assault.
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.”
But in her closing arguments, which spanned parts of Wednesday and Thursday, Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Marlene Martinez had argued Weinstein was a “titan” who used his power in Hollywood to exploit women and silence them and highlighted the women who testified, choosing to do so 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.”
The prosecutor added: “It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end and it is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice.”