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Harvey Weinstein: Los Angeles jury deadlocked over factors that could have increased his sentence -
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Harvey Weinstein: Los Angeles jury deadlocked over factors that could have increased his sentence

Harvey Weinstein: Los Angeles jury deadlocked over factors that could have increased his sentence



CNN

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

The three counts Weinstein was convicted of — rape, foreign body sexual penetration and forced oral copulation — were all related to one of his accusers, Jane Doe 1, a model and actress who testified that the movie mogul had assaulted her in a hotel room in Beverly Hills. in February 2013.

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

Ten members of the jury felt the aggravating factors were met, but two jurors could not be swayed, one of the jurors told CNN.

“The jury said it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on these issues,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench said, according to a pool report. “I will declare a mistrial with respect to the allegations.”

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

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

When Lench asked prosecutor Paul Thompson whether Weinstein would be retried on the impasse charges, the pool report said he replied, “First and foremost we need to consult with the victims.”

Weinstein’s sentencing has been tentatively set for January 9, with Lench allowing only Jane Doe 1 to submit a victim impact statement. He should serve 18 years.

“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 by her attorney. “The criminal trial was brutal. Weinstein’s lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand. But I knew I had to see this through, and I did…I hope Harvey Weinstein never sees 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. The jury acquitted Weinstein on one count of forcible sexual assault of a massage therapist in a hotel room in 2010.

They were a hung jury on one count of forcible sexual assault, one count of forced oral copulation and one count of rape linked to two other women – including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker and first partner of California Governor 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 “he is ready to continue to fight for his innocence”.

The verdict was delivered as jurors entered their third week of deliberations, meeting for a total of 41 hours over a 10-day period following weeks of often emotional testimony.

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

“Everyone has become aware of the weight of this trial. There’s a lot for both parties to do,” said Michael, a 62-year-old juror who declined to share his last name.

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

Michael said he found Jane Doe 1 to be the most compelling.

“We felt awful to everyone,” but felt the addition of uncharged witnesses became confusing to some jurors, said Jay, a fellow 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 she was 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 in hopes of testifying but of supporting all of the survivors who bravely came forward,” Fegan said in a statement to CNN. “While we are encouraged that the jury found Weinstein guilty on some of the counts, 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 re-traumatized in the name of justice.

Weinstein has been serving a 23-year sentence for two years for a 2020 New York conviction, which his lawyers have appealed, paying more attention to the outcome of the trial in Los Angeles.

The week-long trial in Los Angeles saw moving testimony from Weinstein’s accusers – a model, a dancer, a massage therapist and Siebel Newsom – who were all asked to recount the details of their allegations against him, provide details about meetings with the producer years ago, and explaining their reactions to the alleged assaults.

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Weinstein’s lawyers have argued the allegations were either fabricated or occurred consensually in a “transactional relationship” with the film producer, repeatedly claiming there is no had no evidence of assault.

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

Jane Doe 2, identified as Lauren Young, told her lawyer Gloria Allred over the phone that she was happy Weinstein had been convicted on some counts despite the mistrial, Allred told a conference press 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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