By the time prosecutors at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial give their closing argument on Friday, it’ll have been greater than per week since jurors heard considered one of his accusers recount what prosecutors describe as a vile sexual encounter with the disgraced Hollywood mogul.
In the times since, Weinstein’s attorneys have known as witnesses who raised doubts in regards to the alleged victims’ testimony, introduced in an professional who spoke about recollections getting fuzzy over time and supplied an epic, hours-long closing argument portray the prosecution’s case as a “sinister story” and the allegations as “remorse renamed as rape.”
Now, prosecutors look to focus the jury’s consideration again on the ladies who testified and their harrowing accounts alleging rapes, compelled oral intercourse, groping, masturbation, lewd propositions and casting sofa experiences.
Several ladies testified that Weinstein ignored pleas of “no, no, no” as he assaulted them. The girl Weinstein is charged with raping stated he would flip violent when he could not get his means, and that, “If he heard the phrase ‘no,’ it was like a set off for him.”
Another girl recalled Weinstein sneering, “You’ll by no means make it on this enterprise, that is how this business works,” when she laughed off his advances.
Having the final phrase earlier than jurors hear directions and begin deliberating Tuesday, prosecutors should additionally reply among the defence’s arguments in opposition to their case.
Chief amongst them: that the 2 ladies Weinstein is charged with attacking have been opportunists who willingly latched onto the once-powerful producer and acquiesced to intercourse with him as a result of they thought it could assist their careers.
Weinstein, 67, is charged with raping a girl in a Manhattan lodge room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral intercourse on a special girl, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006. Other accusers testified as a part of a prosecution effort to indicate he used the identical techniques to victimize many ladies over time.
The Associated Press has a coverage of not publishing the names of people that allege sexual assault with out their consent. It is withholding title of the rape accuser as a result of it is not clear if she needs to be recognized publicly.
Ongoing contact complicates prosecution’s job
The prosecution’s job has been difficult as a result of the ladies he is charged with assaulting did not abandon Weinstein after the alleged encounters.
A psychologist who testified for the prosecution stated most sexual assault victims proceed to have contact with their attacker. Nevertheless, the defence seized on the continued contact and confronted some alleged victims over the heat emails and different communications with Weinstein that continued for months — and even years — after the alleged assaults.
In her closing argument Thursday, Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno accused prosecutors of making an alternate universe that “strips grownup ladies of frequent sense, autonomy and accountability.”
“In their universe, they don’t seem to be even answerable for sitting at their computer systems sending emails to somebody throughout the nation,” Rotunno stated in remarks that went on for greater than 4½ hours. “In this script, the strong man is the villain and he is so unattractive and huge, that no girl would ever wish to sleep with him voluntarily. Regret doesn’t exist on this world, solely remorse renamed as rape.”
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon is predicted to ship Friday’s closing argument for the prosecution. She is a longtime prosecutor within the Manhattan district lawyer’s workplace and a veteran of high-profile circumstances and large moments.
In 2017, she received a conviction of the person who kidnapped and killed Etan Patz, a baby pictured on milk cartons after he disappeared in 1979, however a criminal offense not solved for many years. She additionally led the workplace’s 2011 intercourse assault case in opposition to former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, which was in the end dropped.
One factor jurors ought to anticipate to listen to from Illuzzi in Friday’s closing argument is a reminder that Weinstein did not all the time look as feeble as he has throughout the trial.
On Tuesday, after the defence rested and the jury left for the day, Weinstein’s attorneys sparred with Illuzzi over her plan to say how his bodily look has modified considerably for the reason that time of the alleged assaults.
Weinstein has hobbled into courtroom every day with a walker, parking the system behind the defence desk. His attorneys say it is wanted due to latest again surgical procedure, however Illuzzi stated it appeared extra like a prop put there to sway jurors’ sympathies.
“I’m not going to argue Mr. Weinstein doesn’t have bodily illnesses proper now,” Illuzzi instructed Judge James Burke. “But I can argue that isn’t the person these witnesses noticed.”