Prosecution Rests in Harvey Weinstein Trial, Defense Calls Film Producer
The prosecution rested in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial Thursday after the final accuser, model Lauren Young, finished her testimony.
All told, six accusers have shared graphic testimony about unwanted sexual attacks and advances. Prosecutors have built a case over two weeks that aims to paint Weinstein as a powerful producer who used his power to abuse young, inexperienced women who hoped to advance their careers. Twenty-eight witnesses in all testified.
He is being charged with five counts, including rape, a criminal sex act and predatory sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty but faces life in prison if convicted.
The case is based on Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann’s testimony about Weinstein forcing oral sex and raping them, respectively. In addition to Young, Haley and Mann, Annabella Sciorra and two other women testified as so called “prior bad acts” witnesses.
Sciorra testified that Weinstein raped her in 1993-94.
After lunch, Weinstein’s defense team began presenting its case. Judge James Burke said the defense "has a number of witnesses to call and we will hear them over the next three to four days. Maybe more, maybe less."
First up was film producer Paul Feldsher, a producer who has known Weinstein and Sciorra for many years.
Feldsher recalls an anecdote in which Sciorra told him she’d “done a crazy thing with Harvey.”
“As I understand it all these years later, there was nothing that she told me that was shocking or alarming, there was nothing stressful," Feldsher said. "My understanding was that she fooled around with him.”