The judge overseeing disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein‘s Los Angeles rape case has told jurors their slow deliberations are coming ‘at a personal cost’ to her.
The jury is on its sixth day of deliberations after six weeks of graphic testimony surrounding the 70-year-old, who is facing seven sex-related counts involving four women in the Beverly Hills and LA area between 2004 and 2013.
‘Just so you all know, this is coming at a personal cost,’ Lench reportedly told the jury on Friday.
The judge did not say what that personal cost was.
California Supreme Court Judge Lisa Lench (pictured) told the jury in Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles rape case that deliberations, which have gone on for six days, were coming ‘at a personal cost’ to her
Disgraced movie mogul Weinstein (above) is charged with raping and sexually assaulting two women and committing sexual battery against two others in an LA trial
The jury broke for deliberations last Friday as Weinstein, who is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York for a series of assaults, faces a possible 60-year sentence that would ensure his imprisonment for the rest of his life.
Weinstein is charged with raping and sexually assaulting two women and committing sexual battery against two others in the LA trial
Of the four women he’s on trial for allegedly assaulting, one has been identified by her lawyer as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
‘It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end,’ prosecutor Marlene Martinez told the jury in her closing argument on Thursday.
‘It is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice.’
The jury heard testimony from women who said they had been tricked into being alone with the ‘Shakespeare in Love’ producer in his hotel room.
Several described how they had begged him to stop as he forced himself on them, made them perform oral sex, or watch him masturbate, sometimes as he groped them.
‘We know the despicable behavior the defendant engaged in,’ Martinez told the jury.
‘He thought he was so powerful that people would… excuse his behavior.
”That’s just Harvey being Harvey. That’s just Hollywood.’ And for so long that’s what everyone did. Everyone just turned their heads.’
Weinstein and his lawyers have repeatedly denied the allegations.
His attorney has sought to portray accusers either as liars who never had sex with his client, or as women who willingly slept with him, swapping sex for a leg up in the notoriously competitive world of filmmaking.
Alan Jackson, Weinstein’s lead attorney, told the jury the prosecution had failed to provide evidence that any of the sexual encounters were anything but consensual.
The entirety of the prosecution’s case could be summed up with five words — ‘Take my word for it,’ he said.
Lench (pictured in a court sketch) did not elaborate on how exactly the long trial was affecting her
Among his accusers is Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who testified that Weinstein raped her at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005. Pictured: The Newsoms in 2019
Harvey Weinstein was a ‘predator’ with unmistakable patterns who used his Hollywood power to lure women into meetings, sexually assault them and escape the consequences, a prosecutor said in closing arguments at the former movie mogul’s Los Angeles trial
In her closing statement, Martinez outlined what she said were Weinstein’s consistent tactics across decades.
He would arrange to meet with a woman at a hotel. Then he would find a way to bring her into his suite.
He would then go from ‘charming and complimentary to aggressive and demanding,’ she said, either masturbating in front of them, groping them or raping them, often finding ways to prevent them from leaving.
‘For this predator, hotels were his trap,’ Martinez said. ‘Confined within those walls, victims were not able to run from his hulking mass. People were not able to hear their screams, they were not able to see them cower.’
She noted that many of the women before their assaults were reassured by the presence of other women who worked with Weinstein.
Those women would suddenly and unexpectedly leave the victims alone and isolated with him, Martinez said.
‘He used women to make these women feel comfortable,’ Martinez said, ‘to get their guard down.’
Weinstein did not testify in his own defense. If convicted, he could face more than 100 years in jail.