Jury deliberations in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein have begun after a six-week trial came to an end.
The 12-member panel of New Yorkers will now decide if the former movie mogul goes free or spends the rest of his life behind bars. The case is considered to be a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, as Weinstein’s fall helped trigger an industry-wide reckoning.
In what was described as a very controversial decision, the Judge allowed three other women to testify, as “prior bad acts” witnesses, which bolstered the prosecution’s stance that Weinstein is a serial sexual predator and rapist.
Dawn Dunning, an aspiring actress, said Weinstein stuck his hand up her skirt during a business meeting, and then propositioned her for a threesome, in exchange for movie roles.
Tarale Wulff, an aspiring actress, and model who met Weinstein while working as a cocktail waitress said Weinstein masturbated in front of her at her place of work, and then held her down and raped her on another occasion.
Lauren Young, a former aspiring actress, said Weinstein trapped her in a bathroom, groped her breast and masturbated in front of her.
Judge Burke said jurors must weigh whether these witnesses were “consistent or inconsistent” and “plausible or implausible.”
More to follow on the verdict…