Harvey Weinstein jury indicates split on most serious counts, deliberations resume next week
|globalnews.ca 21 Feb 2020 at 15:51|
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The jury deliberating in Harvey Weinstein ’s rape trial indicated Friday that it is deadlocked on the most serious charges.
In a note sent to the judge during their lunch break, jurors posed a question asking if it were permissible for them to be hung on two counts of predatory sexual assault while reaching a unanimous verdict on other charges.
After consulting with prosecutors and Weinstein’s lawyers, Judge James Burke told the jury of seven men and five women to keep working toward a unanimous verdict on all charges and sent them back to continue deliberating.
Weinstein’s lawyers said they would accept a partial verdict, but prosecutors said no and Burke refused to do so.
The jury, in its fourth day of deliberations, has been particularly focused on the key aspect of both predatory sexual assault counts: Sopranos actor Annabella Sciorra’s allegations that Weinstein raped and forcibly performed oral sex on her in the mid-1990s.
Jurors started the day Friday by listening to a reading of Sciorra’s cross-examination and follow-up questioning by prosecutors. About 90 minutes into the reading, the jurors notified the judge they had “heard enough” and resumed their deliberations.
The jury has already focused on emails that Weinstein sent regarding Sciorra, including ones to the private Israeli spy agency he allegedly enlisted to dig up dirt on would-be accusers as reporters were working on stories about allegations against him in 2017.
Sciorra, now 59, was the first accuser to testify and took the witness stand nearly a month ago, telling jurors how the once-powerful movie mogul showed up unexpectedly at the door of her Manhattan apartment before barging in and raping and forcibly performing oral sex on her in late 1993 or early 1994.