One woman’s rape story convinced all jurors in Weinstein’s trial
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Most of the jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s trial are in Los Angeles They were ready to convict him of crimes involving three of the four women He was accused of rape or sexual assault.
However, after weeks of deliberation, eight men and four women voted unanimously to convict him Crimes against just one person: a Russian-born model and actress Known as Jane Doe 1. She lived in Rome and was visiting California for a film festival at the age of 34 in 2013, when she said the now-disgraced film mogul appeared uninvited at the door of her Los Angeles hotel room in the middle of the night.
The jurors were released from duty and allowed to speak publicly after more than two months on Tuesday, when they were unable to reach a unanimous decision. There are two aggravating factors that may lead to a higher sentence. Their deliberations took nine days spanning more than two weeks, but those who spoke to reporters said the conversations were never contentious.
Weinstein was convicted of rape and two counts of sexual assault against Jane Doe 1. He now faces up to 18 years in prison in California to be sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault in New York.
Jurors said Jane Doe’s calmness, and the fact that she did not contact Weinstein after he raped her, allowed the divided group to reach a consensus on her accusations.
“I thought Jane Doe 1 was very convincing with her story,” said one of the jurors, a 62-year-old banker who gave only his first name, Michael, because he sought to maintain privacy amid the publicity surrounding the case. .
Physical and technical evidence surrounding Jane Doe 1 It was some of the slimmest of the trial, but the jurors were told that, by law, if they found the accused’s story credible, that alone might be enough for a conviction.
They acquitted Weinstein of sexual battery charges against a massage therapist. They deadlock, with 10 of 12 voting in favor of guilt, on account of sexual battery against model Lauren Young; and voting 8-4 in favor of conviction on the rape and sexual assault charges involving Jennifer Sibel NewsomDocumentary filmmaker and wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Associated Press did not name the people who said they experienced sexual assaults, unless they came forward publicly or consented through their attorneys, as Young and Sybil Newsom did.
Jane Doe is only 1 of those who had no more direct dealings with Weinstein or his representatives after the incident. She testified that she hardly knew who he was, as she had only been presented briefly at the film festival, and wanted nothing of him. Others, including Siebel Newsom, had cordial e-mail communications with Weinstein or sought future meetings after their incidents, a point the defense bombed in their closing cross-examinations and arguments.
That resonated with some jurors.
Michael said he voted to convict Jane Doe 1, but he reluctantly voted to be acquitted of the charges related to Sibel Newsom. The difference, he said, was the “after-work” of the woman.
“In two years, I’ve sent Mr. Weinstein over 35 emails,” he said of Siebel Newsom. “She wanted access to Harvey Weinstein. It seemed like she wanted access to a lot of his resources. It raised reasonable suspicion in my mind.”
Weinstein has repeatedly denied engaging in any non-consensual sex. His attorneys have described some encounters on the charges as consensual and others entirely fabricated, including the story told by Jane Doe 1. They noted that prosecutors did not even provide independent evidence to place Weinstein at her hotel.
“Jane Do 1 is lying. Period,” Weinstein attorney Alan Jackson said in his closing argument.
One juror suggested that the general statement was undermined by defense arguments that dealt with the details of Jane Doe 1.
“I think Jackson’s recent comment where Harvey wasn’t present hurt him,” said the juror, Arnold Esceda, who serves as director of security for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy. “They were defending all this stuff, and then they said it’s not there. Well, they should have just said it’s not there.”
He said he and the other jurors pointed out a “very old school” guy in the jury who “decided he was going to vote guilty on that. He stayed pretty much not guilty as far as the rest was concerned.”
While tearful at times, Jin Do 1’s testimony was restrained and straightforward compared to some of the testimonies that followed. She spoke slowly with a Russian accent, hardly benefitting from having a translator on hand.
Escida said the emotional testimony to Sibel NewsomScreaming through tears at times during her testimony may have been too much for some of her fellow jurors. The commission was split 6-6 on the charges involved when it was proposed to obtain a re-read of her testimony from a court reporter.
“It had a little bit of drama,” Escida said. “So I suggested we re-read it, and I think after we read it it turned a couple of people in its favour, without the drama.”
Michael said changes to the massage therapist’s story over time helped lead the jury to acquit him of the charge.
Judge Lisa Lynch tentatively set Weinstein’s sentencing for January 9 after his lawyers requested that it be done immediately.
But Lynch said that may not happen so quickly given the issues surrounding the case, including the pending decision for prosecutors on whether or not to retry deadlocked charges.
“We will need to consult the victims first and foremost,” said Deputy Attorney General Paul Thompson.
The judge asked whether Weinstein’s other accusers, including some who testified against him at trial but were not part of the charges, and women whose charges have deadlocked, might submit victim impact statements at sentencing.
Lynch immediately rejected the idea.
“I will not make this forum open to all allegations made in this trial,” she said.
“So you’ll be Jane Doe 1 then,” Thompson replied.
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