The jury in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial in New York said on Friday they were deadlocked on the most serious criminal charges and suggested they were unanimous on the others leveled against the former Hollywood mogul.
What We Know:
- The jury began its deliberations on Tuesday.
- The jury of seven men and five women asked if they could be hung on one or both charges of predatory sexual assault and unanimous on the lesser charges. Given the structure of the charges, Weinstein can only be convicted of two charges at the most.
- Conviction on the predatory assault charges, which carry a potential life sentence, would indicate that Weinstein is a repeat sexual offender. Two of the other charges carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years, while the third is up to 4 years.
- Justice James Burke said it is common for juries to have difficulty reaching a unanimous decision, but that most are eventually able to do so.
- Earlier this week, jurors requested to rehear testimony and cross examination of Mimi Haley and Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, whose allegation is critical to Weinstein being convicted of predatory sexual assault.
- Jurors also asked to review the cross-examination of Sciorra and the testimony of her friend, actress Rosie Perez, who early in the trial told jurors that Sciorra told her about the alleged attacks in the 1990s. In addition, they wanted a list of anyone Sciorra allegedly told about the attack.
- Weinstein and his lawyers have insisted that his encounters with the women were consensual.
- A source within Weinstein’s defense team said speculation about the verdict would be “premature and a mistake”.
- Donna Rotunno, his lead lawyer, has said the defense would be willing to accept a partial verdict, meaning the judge would accept the jury’s decision on some counts and tell them to keep deliberating on the others. The prosecution has said it would not.
- The jury broke for the weekend and are expected to continue deliberating on Monday.
The allegations fueled the #MeToo movement, in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.