Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-New York prosecutor says former movie producer Weinstein abused his power

UPDATE 2-New York prosecutor says former movie producer Weinstein abused his power
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

New York prosecutors told jurors that Harvey Weinstein abused his power and pushed back against claims by the former Hollywood producer's defense team that his accusers were not credible. Setting the stage for the jury to begin deliberating next week in Weinstein's weeks-long sexual assault trial, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said Weinstein, 67, had counted on his victims never coming forward.

"The defendant not only ran roughshod over the dignity and the very lives of these witnesses, but he also underestimated them," she said. The trial is a milestone for the #MeToo movement, in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, in 2013. Justice James Burke is expected to give the jury legal instructions on Tuesday morning, after which they will begin deliberating.

Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The former producer, who was behind films including "The English Patient" and "Shakespeare in Love," has denied any nonconsensual sex.

On Thursday, Donna Rotunno, one of Weinstein's lawyers, assailed Weinstein's accusers as unreliable and said an "overzealous" prosecution was trying to portray consensual sex as assault, and that women must be "responsible" for their choices. Illuzzi said on Friday that all the women were credible and had no reason to lie.

"If they didn't feel compelled to do this, would they put their families through this?" she asked. "Would they put themselves through the stress?" She also pushed back against Rotunno's argument about women's responsibility.

"If you're the victim of fraud, nobody is going to say, well, you gave the accountant access to your money," she said. Haleyi testified during the trial that Weinstein forced oral sex on her in his home in 2006. Mann testified that Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan hotel room early in what she called an "extremely degrading" relationship with him.

Illuzzi rejected the defense's claim that Mann had a loving relationship with Weinstein, but also said it would not matter if she had been "head over heels in love with him." "He still wouldn't be allowed to rape her on March 18 of 2013," she said.

Jurors heard from four other women, including actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Weinstein came into her apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and raped her. The accusation is too old to be charged as a separate crime, but it could act as an aggravating factor to support the most serious charge in the case, predatory sexual assault, which carries a possible life sentence. Prosecutors called the remaining three women to bolster their evidence of Weinstein's intent, but did not charge him with any crimes related to them.

After court wrapped up for the day, Rotunno told reporters that the evidence showed the relationships the accusers had with Weinstein were consensual. "I think he's confident. And this is a tough situation for anybody to be in," she said of Weinstein.

(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Howard Goller and Daniel Wallis)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...


Latest News

California monitoring 8,400 people for possible coronavirus

California is monitoring more than 8,400 people who arrived on commercial flights for coronavirus symptoms from points of concern, but the state lacks test kits and has been held back by federal testing rules, Governor Gavin Newsom said on ...

Eastern Bay of Plenty to get harbor development through $79.4m fund

The Eastern Bay of Plenty will finally get the harbor development it has wanted for decades, thanks to a 79.4 million central Government investment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.This game-changing proje...

South Korea coronavirus cases pass 2,000: authorities

Eds Adds details Seoul, Feb 28 AFP South Korea reported 256 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its total -- the highest in the world outside China -- to 2,022, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said More than 90 pe...

U.N. chief declares women's inequality 'stupid' and a global shame

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called womens inequality stupid and a cause for global shame on Thursday, as he pledged to press governments to end discriminatory laws in the face of a strong and relentless pushback agains...

Give Feedback