New York | The prosecution has called Friday the jurors to convict the “predator” Harvey Weinstein, and believe women who have “no reason to lie” by accusing the producer of sexual assault, the last day of this trial-test for the movement #MeToo.
The film producer for more than 80 Oscar saw himself “as a master of the universe, and the women who testified [against him] were no more than ants that he could trample without consequence,” said the prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon in his indictment final, after three weeks of hearings in the court of Manhattan.
The producer of 67 years — and a potential life sentence in case of conviction by the jurors who deliberate from Tuesday was thought to have an “insurance policy “infallible”, because the women who testified at the trial “were queuing up to enter her universe”, she added.
According to the prosecutor, the six women who accused him at trial of having been assaulted had “no reason to lie.”
“Why submit to all this stress” in coming to testify? she launched the jurors during three hours of argument, much shorter than the previous day, the defense attorney Donna Rotunno.
“They seemed happy to be in the courtroom? […] They have sacrificed their dignity, their privacy, their quiet in the hope of making their voices heard”, she said.
The prosecutor — the same who led the prosecution against Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the case of the Sofitel in 2011, finally abandoned — has also sought to dispel the doubts distilled by the defence counsel on Thursday.
The latter had insinuated that his accusers had themselves put in a situation of being attacked, continuing to meet the producer so that he had already they abused.
Sex crimes are “different”
“Is it that by going with Harvey Weinstein, she deserved what happened to him? Was it his decision?” she asked, in reference to the charges of Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant who accused Mr. Weinstein of the have attacked the home of the producer in 2006.
“Is it that taking the plane, we should expect it to be hijacked? […] But we perceive victims of sex crimes differently than [the] victims of other crimes,” she hammered.
In the course of argument, blended with a twenty depositions, sometimes difficult to follow, she came back at length on the story of the actress Annabella Sciorra, who claims to have been raped by Mr. Weinstein in the winter of 1993-94, at her home in Manhattan.
Of the six women who testified against the co-founder of Miramax, the testimony of the actress, at the beginning of the trial, was, without a doubt, the most damning to Harvey Weinstein.
Annabella Sciorra has done everything to keep at a distance but then, as several other women have remained on good terms with him.
The prosecutor has pointed out that this had earned him to be placed on a “red list” of the producer, and to be targeted by people he had recruited to try to stifle 2017 the surveys of journalists from the New York Times or the New Yorker about his sexual abuse alleged.
It is the publication of these investigations, which triggered the movement #MeToo in October 2017, precipitating the denunciation of sexual abuse many men of power. Harvey Weinstein is the first to be tried under criminal law.
The prosecutor has also taken the testimony is sometimes confused of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress who admitted to having had a relationship with Harvey Weinstein for several years, after he had allegedly raped in 2013.
The defense had used his story as proof that she was in fact consenting, citing numerous e-mails affectionate that she sent to Harvey Weinstein.
For the prosecutor, Ms. Mann has proven all along that she was of higher “morality”, even if it sometimes made “bad decisions”.
“If you believe that she’s telling the truth, she is the victim of a rape”, she launched the jurors.
If Mr. Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by more than 80 women since 2017, it is not considered directly in New York city for two alleged assaults: rape assumed on Jessica Mann and a cunnilingus forced to have suffered Mimi Haleyi.
The testimonies of the four other women are supposed to establish that he was an abuser repeat offender, which is worth to him to have been charged with”sexual assault “predatory”.