UPDATED, end of day: The jury in the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct trial completed its third day of deliberations today without a verdict – but with a last-minute request to review even more testimony and evidence regarding actress Annabelle Sciorra.
As the court day drew to a close, the jury asked to re-hear Sciorra’s cross-examination testimony and all of her testimony thereafter. Supreme Court Judge James Burke agreed to have court reporters read the actress’ testimony Friday morning.
The jurors also requested to view a list of people that Sciorra says she told about the rape, but the list had not been entered into evidence and so the request was denied.
Until the jury’s buzzer went off at 4:21 p.m. New York time – signaling that jurors had a note to deliver to the judge – today’s deliberations apparently were spent reviewing emails and testimony requested yesterday involving accusers Sciorra and Miriam “Mimi” Haley.
The emails requested yesterday were requested Wednesday along with the January 24 testimony of Sciorra’s friend, actress Rosie Perez. Court reporters read the Perez testimony to the jury and spectators late Wednesday afternoon, with Judge Burke instructing attorneys on both sides to submit the requested emails for jury review Thursday morning.
On Tuesday and Wednesday – the first two days of deliberations – the jury requested emails and testimony regarding accusers Sciorra and Miriam Haley, possibly suggesting jurors were deliberating the five criminal counts against Weinstein in the order listed on the verdict sheet, beginning with one of two predatory sexual assault charges that carry the heaviest possible sentence: life in prison.
The first count against Weinstein is for predatory sexual assault against Haley and Sciorra – the jury must unanimously agree that Weinstein assaulted both women. Haley, a former Project Runway production assistant, alleges that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Soho apartment on a July night in 2006. (That allegation resulted in the trial’s second count – criminal sexual assault in the first degree; Haley’s account of having sex with Weinstein later that month at the TriBeCa Grand Hotel, under duress but not physically forced, did not produce criminal charges.)
Sciorra previously testified that she was raped by Weinstein in her Gramercy Park apartment during the winter of 1993-1994. The statute of limitations has expired for Sciorra’s rape claim, but under New York law her testimony can be used in conjunction with other accusers to establish predatory behavior.
In addition to re-hearing the Perez testimony – including the actress’ claim (disputed by the defense) that Sciorra told her of the rape back in the early 1990s – the jury requested all Sciorra-related emails, including those between Weinstein and his private investigators Black Cube and Guidepost Solutions. The Miramax co-creator hired the companies in 2017 to investigate Sciorra and other women he suspected might be co-operating with Ronan Farrow for what turned out to be the journalist’s blockbuster Weinstein exposé in The New Yorker.
In count three, Weinstein has been charged with predatory sexual assault against Sciorra and accuser Jessica Mann, a former model, actress and hairstylist who says she was raped at Manhattan’s DoubleTree Hotel in 2013. Counts four and five against Weinstein are rape in the first and third degrees, involving only Mann.
By end of day Thursday, the jury had not formally requested to hear or read any testimony or evidence specifically regarding Mann, a possible – though not certain – indication that deliberations had not yet reached the counts involving her, or that jurors were focused on the lynchpin role played by Sciorra.
If convicted, Weinstein faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison for the predatory sexual assault charges. The lesser charges — of first-degree rape and criminal sex acts — carry potential sentences of 5 to 25 years, and third-degree rape carries a maximum sentence of four years.
Deliberations will continue Friday morning through an early close of 3 p.m. ET.
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