News

Weinstein jury deadlocks on the most serious charge

The jurors in the Harvey Weinstein case were deadlocked Friday afternoon, unable to come to a unanimous verdict on the most serious charges against the Hollywood mogul.

During their fourth day of deliberations, the jury sent a note to Judge James Burke asking it they could be hung on the two counts of predatory sexual assault while reaching a unanimous verdict on the other charges, The Associated Press reports.

Weinstein’s legal team was willing to accept a partial verdict, but the prosecution was firmly against it and Burke eventually sided with the prosecution, sending the jury back to deliberations until they reach an unanimous verdict on all of the charges against the former film producer.

ADVERTISEMENT

The panel’s deliberations will resume Monday morning.

The seven men and five women of the jury have paid particular attention to aspects of “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra’s allegations against Weinstein. 

Sciorra testified a month ago that Weinstein raped and forcibly performed oral sex on her in the mid-1990s, according to the AP. If convicted, those charges could carry a life sentence in prison for Weinstein.

Overall, the 67-year-old Weinstein is charged with five counts that come from Sciorra’s allegations as well as allegations from two other women.

An aspiring actress, whose name the AP withheld out of privacy, says that Weinstein raped her in March 2013, and Mimi Haleyi, a former film and TV production assistant, alleged that Weinstein forcibly had oral sex with her in March 2006.

For the jury to convict the media mogul of a predatory sexual assault charge, all the jurors must agree that Weinstein either raped or sexually assaulted Sciorra and that he committed one of the other charged offenses. The statute of limitations would not apply to such a predatory charge.

ADVERTISEMENT

Throughout the process, Weinstein has claimed that all of the alleged sexual encounters were consensual.

Sciorra’s allegations weren’t part of the original indictment against Weinstein in May 2018, but were later included in a revised indictment this past August.

Weinstein’s lawyers have tried to get Sciorra’s allegations thrown from the case, saying that they predate when predatory sexual assault became a chargeable offense in 2006.

“Annabella was brought into this case for one reason and one reason only,” Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno reportedly said in her closing argument last week. “She was brought in so there would be one witness who had some star power, one witness you may recognize and one witness whose name may mean something.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest