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Jury begins deliberations in Harvey Weinstein rape trial

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Jury begins deliberations in Harvey Weinstein rape trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors began deliberating Friday in the Los Angeles rape and sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, after a final push from the prosecution.

“You have irrefutable, overwhelming evidence of the nature of this man, and what he did to these women,” Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson told the jurors in his rebuttal to the closing argument delivered by the defense a day earlier.

Thompson urged them to find the 70-year-old former movie mogul guilty of the two rape counts and five sexual assault counts he’s charged with.

The charges involve accusations from four women spanning from 2005 to 2013. The jury heard from 49 witness in more than four weeks of testimony.

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In his closing, Weinstein’s defense attorney Alan Jackson emphasized the absence of physical evidence of the assaults, none of which were reported to authorities until years later. He told jurors two of the accusers were clearly lying, and the other two had reframed “transactional” and “100% consensual” sexual acts with Weinstein as assaults after he became a magnet for the #MeToo movement in 2017.

“Regret is not rape,” Jackson said.

In his rebuttal, Thompson guided jurors back through the evidence for each woman. He said the defense failed to show that any of the women had gained anything “transactional” from Weinstein, or that they had anything to gain by lying.

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“Where is the evidence that there is any motivation,” Thompson said, “other than to get justice for being sexually assaulted?”

Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench gave the jurors final instructions then gave them the case. They had just a few hours to deliberate on Friday afternoon before a weekend break.

Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction in New York and could be sentenced to more than 60 years in prison in California if convicted on all counts.

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

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