1 woman’s story of rape convinced all Weinstein trial jurors

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Most of the jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles they were ready to convict him of crimes involving three of the four women accused of rape or sexual assault.

However, after weeks of deliberations, the eight men and four women voted unanimously to convict him crimes against just one: a Russian-born model and actress known as Jane Doe 1. She was living in Rome and visiting California for a film festival at age 34 in 2013 when she said the now-disgraced movie mogul showed up uninvited at her Los Angeles room door in the middle of the night.

Jurors were relieved from duty and allowed to speak publicly after more than two months on Tuesday when they could not reach a unanimous verdict to two aggravating factors that could lead to a higher sentence. Their discussions lasted nine days spanning more than two weeks, but those who spoke to reporters said the talks were never contentious.

Weinstein was found guilty of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault against Jane Doe 1. He now faces 18 years in prison in California to be served 23 years on a rape and sexual assault conviction in New York.

Jurors said Jane Doe 1’s composure, and the fact that she did not contact Weinstein after he raped her, allowed the divided group to reach a consensus on their accusations.

“I thought Jane Doe 1 was very convincing in her story,” said one juror, a 62-year-old banker who gave only his first name, Michael, because he sought to maintain privacy amid the publicity surrounding her. case. .

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The physical and technical evidence surrounding Jane Doe 1 was among the most nuanced in the trial, but jurors were told that under the law, if they found an accuser’s story credible, that alone would be enough to convict.

Weinstein was acquitted of sexually assaulting a massage therapist. Deadlocked, with 10 out of 12 voting guilty, over sexual assault of model Lauren Young; and voted 8-4 to convict Jennifer Siebel Newsom of rape and sexual assaultdocumentary filmmaker and wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Jane Doe 1 only of those who had no further direct dealings with Weinstein or his representatives after the incident. She testified that she hardly knew who he was, having only been introduced briefly at the film festival, and wanted nothing from him. Others, including Siebel Newsom, had friendly email exchanges with Weinstein or sought future meetings after their incidents, a point the defense hit on in cross-examination and closing arguments.

This resonated with some jurors.

Michael said he voted to convict on the Jane Doe 1 charges, but reluctantly voted to acquit on the charges involving Siebel Newsom. The difference, she said, was the women’s “follow-up action.”

“Over a 2 ½ year period she had sent Mr. Weinstein over 35 emails,” he said of Siebel Newsom. “He wanted access to Harvey Weinstein. It seemed he wanted access to many of his resources. It created a reasonable doubt in my mind.”

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Weinstein has repeatedly denied engaging in any non-consensual sex. His lawyers called some of the encounters in the charges consensual and others outright fabricated, including the story told by Jane Doe 1. They pointed out that prosecutors had not even produced independent evidence to place Weinstein at her hotel.

“Jane Doe 1 is lying. Period,” Weinstein’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, said in his closing remarks.

A juror suggested the broad statement was undermined by defense arguments about the details of Jane Doe 1’s account.

“I think Jackson’s last comment where Harvey just wasn’t there hurt him,” said the juror, Arnold Esceda, who works as a safety director for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “They were advocating all these things, and then they just say it’s not there. Well, they just had to say it’s not there.”

He said he and other jurors pointed it out to a “very old-school” man on the jury who “decided he was going to vote guilty on it. He remained almost innocent of the rest.”

While tearful at times, Jane Doe 1’s testimony was subdued and to the point compared to some that followed. He spoke slowly with a Russian accent and hardly ever used a translator.

Esqueda told Siebel Newsom’s highly emotional testimony, who screamed through tears at times during her testimony, may have been too much for some fellow jurors. The panel split 6-6 on the counts involving her when she suggested they get a reading of her testimony by the court reporter.

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“He had a little drama,” Esqueda said. “So I suggested we read it again, and I think after we read it it changed a few people in her favor, without the drama.”

Changes over time in the massage therapist’s story helped jurors acquit him of that charge, Michael said.

The Associated Press does not typically name people who have said they were sexually abused unless they come forward publicly or give consent through their lawyers, as Young and Siebel Newsom have done.

Judge Lisa Lench tentatively scheduled Weinstein’s sentencing for Jan. 9 after his lawyers asked for it to happen immediately.

But Lentz said that may not happen so quickly, given the issues surrounding the case, including a pending decision by prosecutors on whether or not to retry the deadlocked counts.

“We will need to consult with the victims first and foremost,” said Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson.

He asked the judge if other Weinstein accusers, including some who testified against him at trial but were not part of the charges, and women whose accusations were deadlocked, could give victim impact statements at sentencing.

Lentz immediately rejected the idea.

“I’m not going to make this an open forum for all the allegations presented in this trial,” he said.

“Well, it’s just going to be Jane Doe 1,” Thompson replied.


Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton


For more on the Harvey Weinstein trial, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/harvey-weinstein


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