L.A. (Associated Press) — It appeared that most of the Los Angeles jury was prepared to find Harvey Weinstein guilty on three counts of sexual assault or rape against him.
After deliberating for weeks, the jury of eight men and four women unanimously decided to find him guilty on all counts except one: a model and actor born in Russia who went by the name “Jane Doe 1.” She was 34 years old and a resident of Rome when, according to her account, the disgraced Hollywood mogul unexpectedly knocked on the door of her hotel room in Los Angeles.
More than two months into the trial, the jury was discharged and given the green light to publicly discuss the case on Tuesday after they could not reach a verdict on two aggravating circumstances that could have resulted in a harsher sentence. Nine days and more than two weeks were spent deliberating, but sources who spoke to the media said there were no heated disagreements.
The jury found Weinstein guilty on all three counts, including rape, of the sexual assault of Jane Doe 1. A possible 18-year sentence now joins a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York in California.
The jury said they could come to a unanimous decision about Jane Doe 1’s allegations because she remained calm throughout the process and did not contact Weinstein after he raped her.
Jane Doe 1 had some of the weakest physical and technical evidence presented at trial. Still, the jury was instructed that if they found an accuser’s story credible, that alone could be enough to convict under the law.
Weinstein was cleared of sexual battery charges brought by a massage therapist. Ten of the twelve jurors found Lauren Young guilty of sexual battery. In comparison, eight of the four jurors found Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, guilty of rape and sexual assault.
Unless the victim comes forward publicly or gives consent through their attorneys, as Young and Siebel Newsom have done, the Associated Press will not identify those who say they were sexually abused.
Only Jane Doe 1 did not communicate with Weinstein or his representatives again after the incident. Despite briefly meeting him at a film festival, she testified that she didn’t care about him. The defense hammered home the point in cross-examinations and closing arguments that some of the accusers, such as Siebel Newsom, continued to communicate with Weinstein in a friendly manner via email or by initiating new meetings after the alleged incidents.
The jury connected with that.
Michael said he voted guilty on all counts involving Jane Doe 1, but he voted no on all charges against Siebel Newsom. He concluded that the “subsequent action” of the women was the deciding factor.
“In 2 and a half years, she had sent Mr. Weinstein over 35 emails,” he said of Siebel Newsom. A meeting with Harvey Weinstein was something she was interested in. She seemed eager for entry to his wealth. That sparked some doubts that weren’t completely irrational in my head.
Weinstein has denied allegations that he had sexual encounters with underage women or anyone else without their consent on multiple occasions. His attorneys have said that some of the alleged encounters in the charges were consensual, while others, like Jane Doe 1, are completely made up. They noted that the prosecution had offered no proof other than their word that Weinstein was at the hotel where she was staying.
There is no truth to the claims made by Jane Doe 1. End of discussion,” Alan Jackson, a lawyer for Weinstein, said during his closing argument.
A member of the jury expressed doubt about the generalization, saying it had been discredited by the defense’s focus on Jane Doe 1’s testimony‘s specifics.
“I think Jackson’s last comment where Harvey just wasn’t there hurt him,” said Arnold Esqueda, the director of security for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and a jury member. “They were defending the whole shebang, and now they’re just saying he’s not there. If he wasn’t there, they should have said so.
The “very old school” male juror on the jury heard this argument and “decided that he was going to vote guilty on that one,” he said, adding that the other jurors had also made this point to the man. He maintained his innocence on most of the remaining charges.
Although emotional, Jane Doe 1’s testimony was relatively restrained and straightforward compared to others. With a heavy Russian accent and a sluggish speech rate, she barely used the translator provided.
Esqueda testified that some jurors might have been overwhelmed by Siebel Newsom’s emotional testimony. Newsom screamed through her tears at times. When he suggested having the court reporter read back her testimony, the jury was deadlocked 6-6 on the counts against her.
‘She had a little drama,’ Esqueda said. I proposed that we reread it, and doing so swayed a couple of people in her favor without any unnecessary drama. According to Michael, the jury found the massage therapist not guilty on that count because her story changed over time.
After Weinstein’s lawyers requested swift sentencing, Judge Lisa Lench set a provisional date of January 9 for the hearing. Lench, however, cautioned that this was unlikely given the complications of the case and the pending decision by prosecutors regarding whether or not to retry the tied counts.
Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said, “We’ll need to consult the victims first and foremost.”
The attorney asked the judge if any of the women whose counts were tied and any others who had testified against Weinstein but were not named in the charges could give victim impact statements at the sentencing.
Lench dismissed the notion right away. To paraphrase what she said at trial, “I’m not going to make this an open forum on all of the allegations that were presented.”
“Then we’ll refer to her as “Jane Doe 1,” Thompson said.