NEW YORK | lawyers in Harvey Weinstein were on Thursday called on the jurors to acquit the ex-magnate of Hollywood accused of sexual assault, even if it is “unpopular”, after three weeks of trial, during which were raised the issues of coercion and the consent of his two accusers.
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“The media have made of the zeal, the prosecution has made of the zeal […] You are called to take an unpopular decision” and to “ignore the hustle and bustle” in the media around this folder, pointed to the lawyer, who has so far obtained the acquittal of almost all men accused of sexual assault, she has championed.
“Never let your emotions blur your thinking. Use your common sense in new york, it will lead you to the right answer”, she added.
The producer of a 67-year-old, who was the first to discover the talent of Quentin Tarantino and produced hits such as “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Artist”, the risk of life imprisonment if convicted.
Six women have, since the January 22, testified for the prosecution, claiming that the ex-tycoon to Hollywood, became a pariah to the public opinion, had been sexually assaulted.
“The truth leaves traces”
If Mr. Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by more than 80 women since October of 2017, her lawyer, Donna Rotunno, however, reminded the jurors that it was judged in New York city for two alleged assaults: rape speculated on an aspiring actress, Jessica Mann, in 2013, and oral sex forced on an ex-production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006.
However in these two cases, the key notion of consent is blurred in most of the trials for sexual assault.
The two women were, in effect, acknowledged during the trial that he had with Mr. Weinstein at least one report of sexual consent after the assault alleged.
The defense presented numerous e-mails appeared to show that the accusers had remained on good terms with the producer after their alleged assault.
“The truth leaves traces,” said Ms. Rotunno.
She also reminded the jurors that they could convict only if they were certain of his guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
The jurors must reach a verdict unanimously. In case of disagreement, the trial would be cancelled and the prosecution could then decide to attempt a new trial – as was the case for tv star Bill Cosby, accused him also of sexual assault – or not.
If he was acquitted in New York, or if the trial was canceled, Mr. Weinstein would have to answer to more charges for two sexual assaults in Los Angeles, announced in early January.
After the defence, the prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon has to make his final argument on Friday, before the beginning of the discussions expected on Tuesday.