Weinstein jury asks judge if they can issue partial verdict
(NEW YORK) — Jurors in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case asked the judge about a partial verdict.
“We the jury request to understand if we can be hung on [counts] 1 and or 3 and unanimous on the other charges,” they said on Friday afternoon.
Counts one and three are the two top charges of predatory sexual assault.
Prosecutors argued that the jury should be instructed to keep deliberating, saying they would not be willing to accept a partial verdict “at this juncture.” Manhattan Supreme Court Judge James Burke sent the jury back to deliberate.
Earlier on Friday, the jury heard a read-back of Annabella Sciorra’s full cross-examination testimony — part of one of the most powerful and affecting accounts of the trial.
At a bathroom break about halfway through Annabella Sciorra’s full, 2-hour cross exam and redirect follows, the jury sent a new note, saying the read-backs could be ceased: they had heard all they needed.
On Thursday, the jury sent a note to Judge Burke, requesting the court read to them the cross-examination and everything after Sciorra’s testimony.
Sciorra described in wrenching detail in the courtroom on Jan. 23 about the night nearly 30 years ago that she alleges the disgraced Hollywood producer violently raped her at her apartment.
Her allegation is not one of those being considered as a charge in this trial, but, rather, was offered in support of two predatory sexual assault charges against Weinstein — which require the state to prove that Weinstein attacked at least two women — Sciorra and one of the two accusers. It’s part of prosecutors’ larger efforts to demonstrate a pattern of sexual predation.
Weinstein has been charged with five counts of sexual assault related-crimes including predatory sexual assault and rape in the first degree, stemming from two women’s allegations. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims any sexual encounters were consensual.
The jury’s request may indicate they’re working through the witnesses, and not the counts, a veteran law enforcement official following the trial closely told ABC News.
The jury is expected to spend most the day in deliberations, and with court ending early Friday at 3 p.m., it appears unlikely they will return any verdicts on Friday.
If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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