Day 3 of jury deliberation in Harvey Weinstein trial

Published On February 20, 2020 | By Paige McGowan | Life, News
Paige McGowan

The fate of Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in film, is in the hands of a jury in New York City, as the third day of deliberations in his rape and sexual assault trial continued on Thursday.

The former film producer is facing five charges: first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree rape, third-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Two of the primary witnesses against Weinstein are a former film and TV production assistant, Miriam Haley, and former actress, Jessica Mann.

But there is a disturbingly long list of all the women who have accused Weinstein.

Most of these accusations against the movie mogul helped to launch the worldwide #MeToo movement.

During deliberations, jurors have been focusing on actor Annabella Sciorra’s allegation that Weinstein raped her in the mid-1990s.

Due to the statute of limitations, Sciorra’s allegation is considered ‘too old’ to be considered on its own, and Weinstein is not directly charged with assaulting her.

If the jury finds Weinstein guilty of either of the first-degree charges involving Mann or Haley, they then must make a separate finding on Sciorra’s testimony.

If jurors believe that incident constitutes a first-degree rape or first-degree criminal sexual act, then the original charges involving Haley and/or Mann would be escalated to predatory sexual assault.

If the jury finds that the incident involving Mann is a third-degree charge, though, it will not be considered predatory sexual assault because the predatory charge requires two first-degree sexual crimes.

Sciorra’s testimony is relevant to this trial because, if convicted, her testimony could determine how long Weinstein’s jail sentence will be.

The two first-degree charges are punishable by a minimum of five years with a maximum of 25 years in prison.

The third-degree rape charge is punishable by probation and up to four years in prison, while the predatory charges come with a sentence of 10 years to life.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty, and has maintained that any sexual contact was consensual.

In order to convict Weinstein, the 12-person jury all must be sure of his guilt beyond all reasonable doubt and they must also be unanimous in the decision.

If they cannot do this, the judge may be forced to declare a mistrial.

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