Harvey Weinstein won’t testify at rape trial, defense rests its case
“We discussed it with Mr. Weinstein. Obviously, he pleaded not guilty. The state hasn’t met their burden and he’s not going to testify,” defense attorney Damon Cheronis told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke in the courtroom.
When Burke asked Weinstein if it’s “accurate,” the fallen movie mogul responded, “Yes, that’s accurate.”
Then Cheronis said, “The defense on behalf of Mr. Weinstein rests.”
The defense called seven witnesses over the course of four days since last Thursday in an attempt to poke holes in the allegations of Weinstein’s accusers and discredit them.
The final witness the defense called in the #MeToo-era trial was Thomas Richards Lozano, an agent-friend of rape accuser Jessica Mann.
Richards Lozano told jurors earlier Tuesday that Mann, a then-aspiring actress, was “friendly” with Weinstein on March 18, 2013 — the day Mann claims the fallen movie mogul raped her at a Midtown hotel.
During the defense’s case, jurors heard testimony from another pal of Mann’s, Talita Maia, who claimed that Mann had called Weinstein her “spiritual soulmate.”
The first witness called by the defense, former Miramax consultant Paul Feldsher, crashed and burned on the stand — admitting to jurors that in a recent text message, he told Weinstein, “If a lot of these girls had been my daughter, I’d want to beat the s–t out of you.”
Jurors heard roughly two weeks of testimony during the prosecution’s case, which included harrowing accounts from six women who have accused the pervy producer of sexual assault.
Weinstein, 67, is facing life in prison on rape and predatory sexual assault charges related to incidents involving Mann, former “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi and “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra.
The once-powerful Tinseltown tycoon has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.
Source : Rebecca Rosenberg, Natalie Musumeci Link