the law

Weinstein Jury Appears Deadlocked on the Two Most Serious Charges

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s Manhattan rape and sexual-assault trial appeared to be deadlocked on two of the five counts Friday afternoon. These two counts, predatory sexual assault, are the most serious.

Justice James Burke instructed jurors to keep trying to come to a unanimous decision on these two counts, so deliberations will continue.

In a note sent during the lunch break, the jury said, “We, the jury, request to understand whether we can be hung on one and/or three and unanimous on all the other charges.”

The message came on the fourth day of deliberations, during which jurors asked for testimony to be read aloud to them and to see evidence presented during the trial.

After the note came in, Burke and lawyers on both sides discussed how they would answer the jury.

“The defense is willing to accept a partial verdict,” Weinstein’s lead attorney, Donna Rotunno, said before the jury came in.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said, “We’re not willing to accept that at this juncture, Judge.”

Weinstein faces five counts in New York City. One count, criminal sexual act in the first degree, stems from former Project Runway production assistant Mimi Haleyi’s allegation that Weinstein had forcibly performed oral sex on her at his Soho apartment in 2006. Weinstein faces one count of rape in the first degree and one count of rape in the third degree for ex-actress Jessica Mann’s claim that he had raped her at a Midtown East hotel in 2013.

The two counts of predatory sexual assault, which the jury appears undecided on, are more complicated. One involves Haleyi’s allegation; the other, Mann’s. Annabella Sciorra’s claim that Weinstein had raped her around late 1993 is contained in both of these counts.

The jury has appeared particularly interested in assessing Sciorra’s testimony. On February 20, jurors asked to have portions read back to them. One day prior, they asked to hear Do the Right Thing actress Rosie Perez’s testimony, which corroborated Sciorra’s.

Jurors also requested copies of emails presented during Weinstein’s trial that featured women’s names in red text. The emails displayed Sciorra’s name in red and revealed that she was on a “red flag” list. People on this list were particularly important to Weinstein. In the months before the allegations against Weinstein broke, prosecutors alleged, he thought these “red flags” might disclose damaging information.

Deliberations ended at 3 p.m. this afternoon, as Rotunno has to attend an out-of-town funeral. The jury will return on Monday morning to continue weighing Weinstein’s case.

When Weinstein left court, reporters asked what he thought about today’s turn of events. As is often the case, Weinstein shrugged.

Update, February 24: Harvey Weinstein’s verdict has been announced.

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Weinstein Jury Appears Deadlocked on Most Serious Charges