Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are set to relaxation their defence case Tuesday, however not earlier than answering the huge question looming over his New York City rape trial: will he take the danger of testifying?
So far, they are saying, Weinstein hasn’t signalled he’ll roll the cube. His final likelihood to declare his testimony comes Tuesday.
As he left court docket Monday, the once-powerful Hollywood boss declined to reply a reporter who requested if he was going to take the stand.
Doing so may very well be dangerous as a result of prosecutors would have the ability to grill Weinstein on cross-examination about heinous allegations that jurors already heard about in vivid element from six of his accusers.
Weinstein, 67, is charged with raping a girl in a Manhattan lodge room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral intercourse in 2006 on a special girl — movie and TV manufacturing assistant Mimi Haley.
Prosecutors known as different accusers as witnesses as a part of an effort to point out he has used the similar techniques to victimize many ladies over the years.
Weinstein has maintained any sexual encounters had been consensual.
The Associated Press has a coverage of not publishing the names of people that allege sexual assault with out their consent. It is withholding the title of the girl accusing Weinstein of raping her in 2013 as a result of it is not clear if she needs to be recognized publicly.
How Weinstein and his defence staff really feel the case goes might issue into his determination on whether or not to testify.
Weinstein seems upbeat
The trial has moved far more rapidly than anybody concerned anticipated. Jurors had been initially informed to anticipate six weeks of testimony. Now it is on tempo for closing arguments by the finish of the week, with deliberations to observe.
If he declines to testify, the decide will instruct jurors to not view that call as an indication of guilt.
“I’m not a fan of blowing the lead if I really feel like we’re already on a highway to victory,” mentioned Brian McMonagle, a defence lawyer not concerned in the case who helped safe a mistrial in Bill Cosby’s first sexual assault trial in 2017.
“In some circumstances, it’s a simple determination as a result of the consumer both cannot present a reputable clarification otherwise you merely don’t consider your consumer might survive cross-examination due to any quantity or causes.”
Weinstein has been more and more upbeat coming and going from court docket as the trial has worn on, although in entrance of jurors the once-powerful film mogul has principally been sitting quietly at the defence desk, munching on mints, jotting notes and infrequently dozing off.
On Monday, after robust testimony from a defence witness who repudiated the account of one in all Weinstein’s accusers, his lawyer Arthur Aidala declared: “It was an awesome day for the defence as we speak.”
Defence witness counters accuser
Claudia Salinas, a Mexican mannequin and actress, took the stand to defend herself towards accuser Lauren Marie Young’s declare that she stood by and did nothing whereas Weinstein sexually assaulted Young at a Beverly Hills lodge in 2013.
“Never occurred,” Salinas informed jurors.
Young, a mannequin, testified final week that Salinas closed the door behind her and Weinstein as they went into the rest room, the place she alleges he stripped off his garments, grabbed her breast and masturbated. Once it was over, Young mentioned she discovered Salinas standing outdoors the rest room and shot her an evil look earlier than leaving as rapidly as she might.
“If I had executed that, I might do not forget that,” Salinas testified. “I might by no means shut the door on anyone.”
Salinas took the witness stand as the defence known as witnesses for a 3rd day after greater than two weeks of prosecution testimony.
I inform my purchasers, ‘as soon as you are taking the stand you’ve misplaced your protect, which is me, and you’re by yourself.’– Brian McMonagle, former Bill Cosby lawyer
In another high-profile intercourse crimes circumstances, defendants have skipped testifying. For instance, Cosby didn’t take the witness stand both time he was tried for drugging and molesting a girl at his suburban Philadelphia dwelling. The second trial, in 2018, resulted in the comic’s conviction.
In one other high-profile case, former Penn State assistant soccer coach Jerry Sandusky was desperate to testify at his 2012 baby sexual abuse trial. But that was earlier than his adopted son lodged allegations of abuse towards him as the trial was happening. If Sandusky had testified, prosecutors might’ve then known as the son as a rebuttal witness.
“I inform my purchasers, ‘as soon as you are taking the stand you’ve misplaced your protect, which is me, and you’re by yourself,'” mentioned McMonagle, who was not concerned in Sandusky case.
“In my expertise as a prosecutor and defence lawyer it’s uncommon to see a consumer take the stand. The drawback is, some jurors do maintain that towards you.”