Prosecutors on Friday called jurors to convict “predator” Harvey Weinstein. She urged them to believe women who have “no reason to lie” by accusing the producer of sexual assault on the last day of this trial.
The 80-Oscar film producer saw himself “as a master of the universe, and the women who testified (against him) were just ants he could trample on without consequences,” said prosecutor Joan. Illuzzi-Orbon in its final indictment, after three weeks of hearings at the Manhattan court.
The 67-year-old producer risks life in the event of conviction by jurors who will deliberate from Tuesday. He believed he had a “foolproof insurance policy” because the women who testified at the trial “were lining up to enter his world,” added the prosecutor.
Three hours of oral argument
According to her, the six women who accused him at trial of assaulting them had “no reason to lie”. “Why submit to all this stress” by coming to testify? she launched to the jury during her three hours of oral argument, much shorter than that the day before by defense lawyer Donna Rotunno.
“Did they seem happy to be in court?” (…) They sacrificed their dignity, their intimacy, their tranquility in the hope of making their voices heard, ”she said. The prosecutor – the same one who led the proceedings against Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the Sofitel case in 2011, finally abandoned – also wanted to dispel the doubts distilled by the defense lawyer on Thursday.
The latter had insinuated that her accusers had placed themselves in the situation of being attacked, by continuing to associate with the producer when he had already allegedly abused them.
Sex crimes are “different”
“Did she deserve what happened to her when she went to Harvey Weinstein’s?” Was it his decision? ” she questioned, in reference to the accusations of Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant who accuses Harvey Weinstein of having assaulted her at the producer’s home in 2006. “Do we take the plane? should he expect it to be diverted? (…) But we perceive victims of sexual crimes differently (from victims) than other crimes, ”she said.
During her pleading intermingling with twenty depositions, sometimes difficult to follow, she returned at length to the story of actress Annabella Sciorra, who claims to have been raped by Harvey Weinstein in the winter of 1993-94, at her home in Manhattan . Of the six women who testified against the Miramax co-founder, the actress’ testimony at the start of the trial was perhaps the most overwhelming for Harvey Weinstein.
Annabella Sciorra did everything to keep him at bay afterwards, while several other women stayed on good terms with him. The prosecutor pointed out that it had been worth to appear on a “red list” of the producer, and to be targeted by people whom he had recruited to try to stifle in 2017 the investigations of journalists of the “New York Times” or the “New Yorker” on his alleged sexual abuse.
It was the publication of these investigations that sparked the #MeToo movement in October 2017, precipitating the denunciation of the sexual abuse of many men of power. Harvey Weinstein is the first to be tried in criminal proceedings.
If Harvey Weinstein has been accused of harassment or sexual assault by more than 80 women since 2017, he is only tried directly in New York for two alleged assaults: the alleged rape of Jessica Mann and a forced cunnilingus allegedly suffered Mimi Haleyi. The testimony of the other four women is believed to establish that he was a repeat assailant, which has earned him the charge of “predatory sexual assault”. (Ps / nxp)
Created: 02-14-2020, 10:02 p.m.