Deliberations in Harvey Weinstein’s 2nd sexual assault trial will continue Wednesday for a 9th day

A Los Angeles jury met for an eighth day Tuesday in the second sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul accused of using his Hollywood influence to lure women into private meetings and assault them.

After about 32.5 total hours of deliberations without reaching a verdict, the jury adjourned for the day and is scheduled to return Wednesday morning.

Weinstein, who awaits a decision from jail, faces two counts of forcible rape and five counts of sexual assault related to accusations from four women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who alleged 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 counts connected to an unnamed woman were dropped after she did not testify.

Weinstein — who is already serving a 23-year sentence for a New York sexual assault conviction — could face 60 years to life in prison, plus an additional five years, if the jury in Los Angeles finds him guilty.

As of Tuesday evening, the jury has deliberated longer than the New York jury in Weinstein’s first criminal trial, in which he was convicted him of criminal sex act and third-degree rape after 26 hours of deliberations.

His attorneys have appealed that conviction, which has put more attention on the outcome of the trial in Los Angeles.

In closing arguments Wednesday, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez called Weinstein a “titan” who used his power in Hollywood to prey on and silence women.

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

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

Meanwhile, Weinstein’s attorneys have maintained the allegations are either fabricated or occurred consensually as part of a “transactional relationship” with the movie producer, repeatedly saying there is no evidence of assault.

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

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

Additionally, four women testified they were subjected to similar incidents by Weinstein in other jurisdictions.

All the accusers were asked in court to recount the details of their allegations against Weinstein, provide details of meetings with the producer from years ago and explain their reactions to the alleged assaults.

The allegations and the arguments

Each morning at trial, Weinstein was brought from a correctional facility and wheeled into the Los Angeles courtroom wearing a suit and tie and holding a composition notebook.

His accusers all began their oftentimes emotional testimonies by identifying him in the courtroom as he looked on.

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

On Thursday of last week, defense attorney Jackson asked jurors if they could “accept what (the Jane Does) say as gospel,” arguing what they said was a lack of forensic evidence supporting their claim.

“Five words that sum up the entirety of the prosecution’s case: ‘Take my word for it,'” Jackson said. “‘Take my word for it that he showed up at my hotel room unannounced. Take my word for it that I showed up at his hotel room. Take my word for it that I didn’t consent. Take my word for it, that I said no.’ ”

Siebel Newsom described an hourslong “cat-and-mouse period,” which preceded her alleged assault. She, like other accusers, described feeling “frozen” that day.

Attorneys for Weinstein do not deny the incident occurred, but said he believed it was consensual.

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

Women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing Jane Doe 2 in the case, told CNN she hopes the jury sees her client “has no motive at all to do anything but tell the truth.”

“She never sought or received any compensation … She doesn’t live in California anymore. But she is testifying because she’s been asked to testify and I hope that they see her as the young woman that she was when she met Harvey Weinstein, and the woman that she is today approximately nine to 10 years later. Her life has changed,” Allred said.

“To be willing to subject yourself to what could be a very brutal cross-examination. That 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 the women who testified chose to do so despite knowing they would face tough conditions in court.

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

The-CNN-Wire
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