Harvey Weinstein: Los Angeles jury deadlocked on factors that could have increased his conviction



CNN

After convicting former movie producer Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual assault, a Los Angeles jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict Tuesday on alleged aggravators that could have increased his sentence.

The three charges Weinstein was convicted of: rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object and forcible oral copulation were linked to one of his accusers, Jane Doe 1, a model and actress who testified that the movie mogul assaulted her in a Beverly Hills hotel room. in February 2013.

Jurors were asked to determine whether Jane Doe 1 was impaired and particularly vulnerable, and whether Weinstein committed the crimes with planning, professionalism or sophistication.

Ten jurors found that the aggravating factors had been met, but two jurors could not be swayed, one of the jurors told CNN.

“The jury has said they cannot reach a unanimous verdict on these issues,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench said, according to a report from the group. “I’m going to declare a mistrial on the pleadings.”

If the jury had found Weinstein guilty of the aggravating factors, a new California law would have allowed the judge to hand down a harsher sentence.

Jurors had deliberated for several hours Tuesday. After the jury indicated that further deliberations would not sway them, neither the prosecution nor the defense pushed for the jurors to deliberate further.

When Lench asked prosecutor Paul Thompson whether Weinstein would be tried again on the blocking counts, the group’s report said he replied, “First of all, we have to consult with the victims.”

Weinstein’s sentencing was tentatively set for Jan. 9, and Lench only allowed Jane Doe 1 to offer a victim impact statement. He is expected to turn 18.

“Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013. I will never get it back,” Jane Doe 1 said in a statement released through her attorney. “The criminal trial was brutal. Weinstein’s lawyers gave me hell on the witness stand. But I knew I had to see it through and I hoped Harvey Weinstein would never see the outside of a prison cell in his lifetime.”

The disgraced movie mogul was found guilty on Monday of three of the seven charges against him in his second sexual assault trial. A jury acquitted Weinstein of a charge of sexual assault by restraint against a massage therapist in a hotel room in 2010.

They were a jury on one count of sexual assault by restraint, one count of forced oral copulation and one count of rape involving two other women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the first partner of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Weinstein had pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. His spokesman said he was “disappointed” with the outcome of the trial but “is prepared to continue to fight for his innocence”.

The verdict came as jurors entered their third week of deliberations, meeting for a total of 41 hours over a 10-day period after weeks of sometimes emotional testimony.

Two jurors who spoke to CNN after being removed from court Tuesday shared their thoughts on the trial, both saying politics played no role in their deliberations.

“Everyone realized the weight of this trial. There’s a lot going on for both sides,” said Michael, a 62-year-old juror who declined to share his last name.

Michael said the contact the accusers had with Weinstein after his alleged assaults was a key factor in deciding the verdict. This applied specifically to Siebel Newsom, who, according to dozens of emails presented as evidence at trial, maintained contact with Weinstein.

Michael said he found Jane Doe 1 the most compelling.

“We felt horrible for everybody,” but we felt the addition of uncharged witnesses became confusing for some jurors, said Jay, another juror who also declined to share his last name .

“Everyone seemed believable. It’s hard to prove them all with time and memory,” added Jay.

Elizabeth Fegan, an attorney representing Siebel Newsom, who was identified in court as Jane Doe 4, said they were disappointed the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charges related to her client.

“My client, Jane Doe 4, shared her story not with the expectation of testifying but to support all survivors who bravely come forward,” Fegan said in a statement to CNN. “While we are pleased that the jury found Weinstein guilty of some of the charges, we are disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Jane Doe 4. She will continue to fight for all women and all survivors of abuse against a system … that allows the victim to be shamed and retraumatized in the name of justice”.

Weinstein has two years of a 23-year sentence for a New York conviction in 2020, which his lawyers have appealed, putting more focus on the outcome of a trial in Los Angeles.

The week-long trial in Los Angeles saw emotional testimony from Weinstein’s accusers – a model, a dancer, a masseuse and Siebel Newsom – all of whom were asked to recount the details of the his accusations against him, which provided details of meetings with the producer years ago. , and explain their reactions to the alleged assaults.

In addition, four women testified that they were subjected to similar behavior by Weinstein in other jurisdictions.

Weinstein initially faced 11 charges, but four charges involving an unnamed woman were dropped without explanation. She did not testify at trial.

In closing arguments, Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Marlene Martinez called Weinstein a “titan” who used his power in Hollywood to capture and silence women.

Meanwhile, Weinstein’s lawyers have maintained that the allegations were fabricated or occurred consensually as part of a “transactional relationship” with the movie producer, and have repeatedly said there was no evidence of assault

Defense lawyer Alan Jackson called the accusers “seekers of fame and fortune”.

Jane Doe 2, who was identified as Lauren Young, told her attorney Gloria Allred by phone that she was glad Weinstein was convicted of some charges despite a mistrial on her own, Allred said in a press conference after the verdict.

“I am relieved that Harvey Weinstein has been convicted because he deserves to be punished for the crimes he committed, and he can no longer use his power to intimidate and sexually assault more women,” Young said in a statement read by Allred.

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