Prosecutors prepare to give closing arguments in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial as disgraced Hollywood producer arrives in court
- Harvey Weinstein arrived at court in New York on Friday to hear prosecutors give their closing arguments in his rape trial
- Prosecutors will urge jurors to find Weinstein guilty of rape and sexual assault
- Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann in 2013
- In addition to the two main accusers, four additional women were called to testify as witnesses to bolster the case against him
New York prosecutors on Friday will urge jurors to find Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape and sexual assault – a day after the disgraced Hollywood producer’s lawyer accused the prosecution of being ‘overzealous’.
By the time prosecutors at give their closing argument on Friday in Weinstein’s New York rape trial, it will have been more than a week since jurors heard one of his accusers recount what prosecutors describe as a vile sexual encounter with the former movie mogul.
In the days since, Weinstein’s lawyers have called witnesses who raised doubts about the accuser’ testimony, brought in an expert who spoke about memories getting fuzzy over time and offered an epic, hourslong closing argument painting the prosecution’s case as a ‘sinister tale’ and the allegations as ‘regret renamed as rape’.
The prosecution will now look to focus the jury’s attention back on the accusers who testified and their harrowing accounts alleging rapes, forced oral sex, groping, masturbation, lewd propositions and casting couch experiences.
Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York on Friday to hear the prosecution’s closing arguments in his rape trial
Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, in 2013.
In addition to the two main accusers, four additional women were called to testify as witnesses to bolster the case against him.
Several of those women testified that Weinstein ignored pleas of ‘no, no, no’ as he assaulted them. Mann, the woman Weinstein is charged with raping, said he would turn violent when he couldn’t get his way and that the word no was like a trigger for him.
Another woman recalled Weinstein sneering: ‘You’ll never make it in this business, this is how this industry works’ when she laughed off his advances.
Having the last word before jurors hear instructions and start deliberating on Tuesday, prosecutors must also answer some of the defense’s knocks on their case.
Weinstein arrived in court on Friday with his attorney Donna Rotunno who told jurors on Thursday that prosecutors in the rape case against the producer were acting like moviemakers, conjuring up a world ‘where women had no free will’
Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, in 2013
Chief among them: that the two women Weinstein is charged with attacking were opportunists who willingly latched on to the once-powerful producer and acquiesced to sex with him because they thought it would help their careers.
The prosecution’s task has been complicated because the women he’s charged with assaulting didn’t abandon Weinstein after the alleged encounters.
A psychologist who testified for the prosecution said most sexual assault victims continue to have contact with their attacker. Nevertheless, the defense seized on the continued contact and confronted some accusers with warm emails and other communications with Weinstein that continued for months – or even years – after the alleged attacks.