Politics

Harvey Weinstein rape trial judge tells jurors to keep working after note suggests they are hung on most serious charges

Key Points
  • The judge in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein told jurors Friday to continue their deliberations after they suggested they are hung on the most serious charges, of predatory sexual assault, in the case.
  • The fallen film mogul is charged with raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in Manhattan. He also is accused of forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.
  • Actress Annabella Sciorra testified during the trial that Weinstein raped her in her apartment in either late 1993 or early 1994.
Harvey Weinstein walks to the courtroom in New York City criminal court on January 6, 2020 in New York City.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

The judge in the rape trial of fallen film mogul Harvey Weinstein told jurors Friday to continue their deliberations after they suggested they are hung on the most serious charges, of predatory sexual assault, in the case.

Jurors on Friday afternoon in the Manhattan courthouse said in a note to Judge James Burke, "We the jury request to understand if we can be hung on 1 and or 3 but unanimous on the others."

Counts 1 and 3 are charges of predatory sexual assault.

Count 2 is criminal sexual act in the first degree, count 4 is rape in the first degree, and count 5 is rape in the third degree.

If Weinstein is convicted of predatory sexual assault, he would face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life behind bars.

The charges of first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree rape each have a minimum sentence of five years in prison with a maximum of 25 years. If convicted of third-degree rape, Weinstein faces a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison.

Burke told jurors that any verdict that they returned must be unanimous and that if they cannot be unanimous on a specific criminal count than they cannot return a verdict for that count.

The judge asked the jurors to continue their deliberations, noting that it is not uncommon for a jury to have difficulty reaching a verdict. Jurors then resumed their deliberations for less than a half hour.

Burke then dismissed the jurors for the weekend and told them to come back to court to continue their discussions on Monday morning.

"Don't do anything that would put your health in jeopardy, because we need you, and thanks for everything you have done," Burke said.

So far jurors have spent 24½ hours deliberating in the case.

Weinstein, 67, is charged with raping one woman, aspiring actress Jessica Mann, in a hotel room in Manhattan in 2013. He also is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.

The actress Annabella Sciorra testified during the trial that Weinstein raped her in her apartment in either late 1993 or early 1994.

Weinstein was not charged in the case with raping Sciorra, but her testimony, along with that of five other women, was permitted by the judge in order to allow prosecutors to show a pattern of conduct by Weinstein.

Jury deliberations in the case began late Tuesday morning.

Weinstein did not testify at the trial.

Weinstein for years was one of Hollywood's powerful men, having backed a long string of financially successful and critically acclaimed movies such as "Shakespeare in Love" and "Gangs of New York."

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Accused sexual predator Harvey Weinstein confronted at a NYC bar

But he fell from that lofty perch in October 2017, when The New Yorker magazine and The New York Times published exposes of his rampant serial abuse of women, a number of whom were well-known actresses.

The articles also detail secret financial payouts made by The Weinstein Company to keep his victims from going public with their claims.

The articles sparked the so-called #MeToo movement and the demise of the careers of a number of high-profile men who have been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting their female colleagues and other women.