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Entertainment Harvey Weinstein lawyers to jurors: 'Use your New York common sense' to find him not guilty

18:20  13 february  2020
18:20  13 february  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Harvey Weinstein used a walker on Tuesday as he departed from his rape trial in Manhattan.Credit Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times. But his lawyers instructed him not to speak, saying they did not believe that prosecutors had met their burden of proof in the case.

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NEW YORK – Harvey Weinstein's defense team began its closing arguments Thursday, summing up the sex-crimes case against the former movie mogul as unproven and urging jurors to "use your New York common sense" to find him not guilty.

Defense attorney Donna Rotunno delivered Weinstein's closing statement of the case, telling jurors that Weinstein's "fate now lies in your hands." She said Manhattan prosecutors failed to meet their burden of proving Weinstein committed five sex crimes.

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Harvey Weinstein returned to court in Manhattan on Tuesday to plead not guilty to sexual assault charges lodged against him in an indictment last week. Despite investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York , the accounts did not lead to a criminal prosecution, until two weeks ago

Harvey Weinstein CBE (/ˈwaɪnstiːn/; born March 19, 1952) is an American former film producer and alleged sex offender. He and his brother Bob Weinstein co-founded the entertainment company

"The district attorneys have failed to make their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and on behalf of Mr. Weinstein, we are imploring you to tell them that by (ruling) not guilty," Rotunno said.

She reminded jurors that they promised when they were selected to make the "right" decision even if it isn't the most popular, alluding to the public demonstrations and statements issued by accusers and activists against Weinstein outside the courthouse before and during the trial.

a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Donna Rotunno, one of Harvey Weinstein's attorneys, on Feb. 4, 2020, at his sex-crimes trial in New York. She is to deliver the defense closing argument on Feb. 13, 2020.© Richard Drew, AP Donna Rotunno, one of Harvey Weinstein's attorneys, on Feb. 4, 2020, at his sex-crimes trial in New York. She is to deliver the defense closing argument on Feb. 13, 2020.

"You need to show that here in New York City, in the United States of America, we don’t cave to pressure," Rotunno said. "The time to do the right thing is right now."

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Harvey Weinstein appeared in court in New York on Tuesday, to plead not guilty on rape and criminal sex act charges. Shortly before Weinstein arrived in court on Tuesday, the celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred strode into the room, showing the signature determination that famous men accused of sexual

Harvey Weinstein ’s lawyers are set to rest their case on Tuesday, but not before Jurors were initially told to expect six weeks of testimony. Now it is on pace for closing arguments by the end of If Weinstein declines to testify, the judge will instruct jurors not to view that decision as a sign of guilt .

She asked them to let common sense guide them during deliberations. "I'm going to ask that you use your New York City common sense," she said. "Every time you feel emotion taking over, let common sense guide you.

Sergio Serritella, Harvey Weinstein standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Harvey Weinstein arrives at court for the defense closing argument at his sex-crimes trial, in New York, Feb. 13, 2020.© Richard Drew, AP Harvey Weinstein arrives at court for the defense closing argument at his sex-crimes trial, in New York, Feb. 13, 2020.

She said juries are "the last line of defense" from "overzealous" media and authorities. "This is not a popularity contest. … in this country, it’s the unpopular people that need juries most," she said.

She challenged the stories told on the stand by six accusers and by prosecutors, saying they "created a universe" in which adult women lack common sense, autonomy and responsibility "for what parties they attend, the hotel rooms they go to, the airplane tickets they accept."

"You’ve heard from many witnesses in this case but if you don’t believe (the two main accusers) Miriam "Mimi" Haleyi and Jessica Mann, then none of the others matter."

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Weinstein surrendered to New York sex-crimes detectives and Manhattan prosecutors on May 25. Meanwhile, the Me Too movement has "dramatically changed the landscape" for prosecutions of sex crimes because jurors , especially male jurors , now have a better understanding of the reason why

Harvey Weinstein 's back surgeon will not be allowed to testify in support of the disgraced Hollywood He has pleaded not guilty in both cases and has denied that the incidents were non-consensual. She subsequently went to meet him and found him naked in the bath and invited her to get naked

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi is scheduled to deliver the prosecution's closing on Friday.

Before the jury entered, Judge James Burke asked Weinstein if he was sticking to his decision not to take the stand to testify. "Yes," Weinstein responded.

Closing summations in the closely watched case – the first and so far only case put before a criminal jury in the #MeToo era – came after about three days of testimony by witnesses called by Weinstein's defense, and about 11 days of testimony by witnesses called by prosecutors.

Rotunno, a Chicago-based defense attorney, was the most public of Weinstein's lawyers before and during the trial, describing herself in media interviews as a "skeptic" of the MeToo movement. She pushed back against activists' criticism of her for even representing Weinstein and for pressing his accusers on what the defense considered holes in their accounts of what they say Weinstein did to them.

a group of people standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie: Harvey Weinstein's defense attorneys Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, left, arrive for closing arguments at his sex-crimes trial in New York, Feb. 13, 2020.© Richard Drew, AP Harvey Weinstein's defense attorneys Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, left, arrive for closing arguments at his sex-crimes trial in New York, Feb. 13, 2020.

The defense rested Tuesday after calling three main witnesses to attempt to raise doubt about the testimony of Weinstein's accusers. The prosecution rested on Feb. 6.

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Harvey Weinstein ’s defense had rest its case, and the prosecution had rest theirs, when Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi and defense attorney Damon Cheronis got Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to five charges related to the alleged incidents, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Shamed Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Monday in New York at his second arraignment on multiple new felony sex-crimes charges. Lawyer Ben Brafman argued that there was no evidence the 66-year-old would flee, and says Weinstein maintains all the allegations are false.

Weinstein opted, as is his right, not to testify, although one of his lawyers, Arthur Aidala, told reporters outside the courthouse later that Weinstein wanted to take the stand to "clear his name."

During a lengthy break behind closed doors on Tuesday morning, Weinstein's defense team told him he didn't need to testify because the evidence presented by the prosecution was "anemic at best,” Aidala said.

Haleyi, 42, says Weinstein forced oral sex on her at his downtown apartment in 2006. Mann, 34, says he raped her in a midtown hotel room in 2013.

Four others – "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra, 59, Dawn Dunning, 40, Tarale Wulff, 43, and Lauren Young, 30 –  also testified as accusers but Weinstein is not charged with their allegations because they're either too old to prosecute or occurred outside New York.

Lauren Selig, Joan Illuzzi posing for the camera: Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, right, followed by ADA Meghan Hast, arrive for defense closing arguments at the Harvey Weinstein sex-crimes trial in New York, Feb. 13, 2020.© Richard Drew, AP Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, right, followed by ADA Meghan Hast, arrive for defense closing arguments at the Harvey Weinstein sex-crimes trial in New York, Feb. 13, 2020.

Instead, the other four accusers are intended to bolster the prosecution's case that the 67-year-old former Hollywood producer/power broker engaged in an alleged pattern of criminal sexual misconduct over years.

Weinstein pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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An Oct. 5 New York Times investigation by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey revealed sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Weinstein dating The New Yorker published an investigation by Ronan Farrow on Oct. 10. That story included multiple accusations of sexual assault by Mr. Weinstein .

The dismissal of one of six charges against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein earlier this month raised questions about the rest of the case. A skillful defense lawyer like Mr. Brafman will use the detective’s mistake to make jurors wonder what else the police might have kept from prosecutors.

The trial will not be in session Monday for a holiday. Judge James Burke expects to spend an hour Tuesday 2/18 giving the seven men and five women of the jury its instructions, after which the jury will get the case.

Whether for conviction or acquittal, a verdict must be unanimous. If the jury cannot agree on a verdict, the judge will likely declare a mistrial.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Related slideshow: See photos from Harvey Weinstein's New York sex-crimes trial:


Harvey Weinstein trial continues with scathing opening statements, photo of him with Bill Clinton .
Harvey Weinstein's trial continued with opening statements that included a scathing description labeling him a rapist and a photo of him with Bill ClintonManhattan Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast went first with a scathing description of the fallen movie mogul. Weinstein's defense team will get their turn next.

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