On Tuesday, after finding former film producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape and sexual assault, a Los Angeles jury could not agree on whether or not there were aggravating circumstances that should have resulted in a harsher sentence.
Jane Doe 1, a model and actress, testified that in February 2013, the movie mogul assaulted her in a Beverly Hills hotel room, and she was the sole accuser in all three of the charges that led to Weinstein’s conviction. The charges included rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object, and forcible oral copulation.
If Jane Doe 1 was harmed and especially vulnerable, and if Weinstein committed the crimes with planning, professionalism, or sophistication, those were questions for the jury to answer.
One juror told CNN that ten people on the jury agreed that the aggravating factors had been met, but that the other two people on the jury were not convinced.
According to a pool report, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench stated, “The jury has said they are not able to reach a unanimous verdict on these issues.” I’m going to call a mistrial on these allegations.
New California law would have allowed the judge to impose a harsher sentence on Weinstein if the jury had found him guilty of the aggravating factors.
When Harvey Weinstein destroyed a piece of me that night in 2013, it was gone for good. In a statement issued through her lawyer, “Jane Doe 1” said, “I will never get that back.” Criminal proceedings were extremely harsh. On the stand, I endured hell at the hands of Weinstein’s legal team. But I knew I had to stick it out until the end, and I did… The only thing I want for Harvey Weinstein is to spend the rest of his life locked up.
Jurors Explain Their Decision To CNN
The disgraced film mogul was found guilty on three of seven counts of sexual assault on Monday. In 2010, Weinstein was found not guilty of sexual battery by restraint against a massage therapist in a hotel room.
One count of sexual battery by restraint, one count of forcible oral copulation, and one count of rape involving two other women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the filmmaker and first partner of California Governor Gavin Newsom, resulted in a hung jury.
Weinstein denied all of the accusations made against him. His spokesperson said that despite his “disappointment” with the trial’s outcome, he is “prepared to continue fighting for his innocence.”
After weeks of often emotional testimony, the jury reached its verdict as it entered its third week of deliberations, meeting for a total of 41 hours over the course of 10 days.
After being dismissed from court on Tuesday, two jurors gave their thoughts to CNN, saying that politics played no role in their deliberations. The significance of this trial was not lost on anyone. Michael (he wouldn’t give his last name), a 62-year-old juror, agreed.
According to Michael, a major factor in the verdict was the amount of communication the accusers had with Weinstein after the alleged assaults. That was said of Siebel Newsom in particular, as she was the one who kept in touch with Weinstein, as evidenced by the dozens of emails presented at trial.
Michael Mentioned That He Believes Jane Doe 1 To Be The Most Credible Of The Three
“We felt horrible for everybody,” said Jay, another juror who declined to give his last name: “We felt like the addition of uncharged witnesses became confusing for some jurors.”Everybody looked like they could be trusted. Jay continued, “It’s hard to prove all of them with time and memory.”
The lawyer representing Siebel Newsom (Jane Doe 4) in court, Elizabeth Fegan, expressed disappointment that the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.
Jane Doe 4 “did not share her story with an expectation to testify but to support all the survivors who bravely came forward,” Fegan said in a statement to CNN. Although it is encouraging that the jury found Weinstein guilty on some counts, we are dissatisfied that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Jane Doe 4. As long as the justice system allows the victim to be shamed and re-traumatized in the name of justice, she will continue to fight for women and abuse survivors everywhere.
Considering that Weinstein has already served two years of a 23-year sentence for a 2020 New York conviction, which his attorneys have appealed, the outcome of the Los Angeles trial has drawn a lot of attention.
During the weeks-long Los Angeles trial, Weinstein’s accusers (a model, a dancer, a massage therapist, and Siebel Newsom) testified emotionally about their experiences with him. They were asked to detail the specifics of their allegations, as well as describe their interactions with the producer over the years.
Four additional women testified that they had experienced similar misconduct at the hands of Weinstein in other states.
Four charges against Weinstein involving a woman who was not identified were dropped without any explanation. When it came time for her to testify, she decided not to.
Governor Gavin Newsom also released a statement, in which he said, “I am so incredibly proud of my wife and all the brave women who came forward to share their truth and uplift countless survivors who cannot.”
“Their strength, courage, and conviction is a powerful example and inspiration to all of us,” Newsom continued. We must keep fighting for survivors’ rights to have their voices heard and for them to receive support.
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, the Italian model at the centre of a 2015 NYPD sting operation against Weinstein, was one of four “prior bad acts” witnesses called by the prosecution to support the charged allegations.
During their closing arguments, the prosecution labelled Weinstein a “predator” and urged the jury to put an end to his “reign of terror.”
The producer’s accusers, his lawyers said, had “acetransactional” relationships with him because of his influence in the entertainment business. They played the game,” Alan Jackson, Weinstein’s defence attorney, said. “Their testimony clearly shows how much they despise it now.”
Over one hundred women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, or rape in the past five years.
Gascon released a statement in which he expressed “disappointment” at the jury’s verdict divided. He expressed appreciation to the witnesses for coming forward and answering questions from the defence.