The jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial began deliberating Tuesday, considering charges that could send the former film mogul to prison for the rest of his life.
The panel of five women and seven men spent roughly five hours Tuesday considering charges that Weinstein raped Jessica Mann, a former actress, in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed oral sex on Mimi Haley, a former “Project Runway” production assistant, in his apartment in 2006.
The jurors are also weighing testimony from “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who says Weinstein raped her in her apartment sometime in late 1993 or early 1994. Sciorra’s rape allegation was considered too old to be charged on its own, but prosecutors included her in the case to reinforce charges of predatory sexual assault.
Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty in the case and denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex. He appeared visibly frustrated just after 3 p.m., when the jury requested copies of certain exhibits from the trial.
The jury had previously sent a note to the judge asking for the legal meaning of terms like “forcible compulsion.”
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In all, more than 80 women have accused the Oscar-winning producer behind “Pulp Fiction” and “The King’s Speech” of sexual assault and harassment going back decades.
The trial centered on graphic and, at times, emotional testimony from Haley and Mann, who recounted that Weinstein lured them with promises to help their careers and forced himself on them as they tried to fight back.
The defense, for its part, attempted to portray the accusers as consenting participants in sexual activity. Weinstein’s lawyers zeroed in on email correspondence after the alleged assaults that they described as friendly or “loving,” and otherwise suggested the alleged sexual activity was transactional.