World

Harvey Weinstein rape case: Being questioned in court


LOS ANGELES –

A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein questioned a woman on Wednesday about the lack of forensic evidence that the movie mogul raped her in 2013, or that he even stayed at the hotel where she was staying. said the assault happened.

“You don’t have any physical evidence to present to the jury that any of this happened, do you?” attorney Alan Jackson asked candidly during cross-examination.

When the judge at the trial of 70-year-old Weinstein in Los Angeles objected to the question because it called for speculation, Jackson was more specific:

“Any pictures?”

“No,” said the woman quietly.

“Any video?”

“No,” she replied, then added, “Do you think someone after the rape took a video?”

She began to cry softly as she answered “no” to a similar series of questions about whether she had any documentation of bruises, scrapes, cuts or handprints on her face held by Weinstein. he or she has been tested for sexual assault.

“Do you have any physical evidence that you were ever with Mr. Weinstein?” Jackson asked.

She cried louder when she replied, “I had his coat, but I gave it away.”

The woman, a model and actress working in Rome, was the first of Weinstein’s accusers to testify at the trial and spent three days in the witness stand.

Prosecutors presented photographs and other evidence that both Weinstein and the woman were present at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival, which she traveled to California to attend in February 2013.

But they have yet to produce anything that brought Weinstein to her hotel the night she said he forced her to perform oral sex on his bed then raped her in his bathroom. me.

This woman did not appear to the police until October 2017, when women’s stories about Weinstein made him a central figure in the .MeToo movement.

She claimed that Weinstein had left her coat in her room and that she gave it to hotel staff, but no lost records have been discovered to prove it.

When asked if the explosion of media stories surrounding Weinstein prompted her to go to the police, the woman repeated previous testimony that she had decided to file a report in the beginning. years when she urged her teenage daughter to go to authorities about the sexual harassment she had been subjected to. suffered at school.

The woman was just ahead of “Jane Doe 1” in court. Her age and place of birth were also not taken to court, although she said her first language was Russian and that she was living with three children in Italy at the time, where she was married. with a substantial fortune.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t name people who say they’ve been sexually abused unless they make it public.

Weinstein’s defense tried to dig holes in her testimony and highlight inconsistencies in previous accounts she gave to the police, to the prosecutor, to the grand jury, and to the grand jury. the first two days of the trial of her testimony.

During the photo interrogation, Jackson explained the woman’s description in her initial interview with police of oral sex, saying that Weinstein pressed her to perform. Jackson claimed that the unusual features of Weinstein’s genitals after surgery years earlier made the behaviors she describes impossible.

Similar acts were not mentioned in her 2020 grand jury testimony, and Jackson asked her if she had learned more about Weinstein’s genitals from prosecutors and thus changed her sentence. his story.

“Never!” she said firmly.

After subsequent questioning from the prosecution, she described “very bad scar tissue” around Weinstein’s genitals.

It was the first time jurors heard from a witness about Weinstein’s surgery, a routine occurrence during his 2020 trial in New York, where he was found guilty of rape and assault sex worker and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

The woman told prosecutor Paul Thompson she had had a panic attack and had barely slept or eaten since her testimony began Monday afternoon. It finally ended late on Wednesday.

Weinstein pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving five women.

However, when prosecutors released their opening statement Monday, they excluded one of the women, raising the question of whether the four charges linked to her would be settled in the trial. are not.

The district attorney’s office declined to comment when asked about the matter.

Weinstein’s attorneys say no charges have been filed.


Resources for victims of sexual assault in Canada

If you or someone you know is struggling with sexual assault or trauma, the following resources are available to support those in crisis:

If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, you should call 911.

A complete list of sexual assault centers in Canada that provide information, advocacy and counseling can be found at ReeseCommunity.com. Resources in your community can be found by entering your postcode.

You can find helplines, legal services and sexual assault kit locations in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

National Residential School Crisis Line: +1 866 925 4419

24-hour crisis line: 416 597 8808

Anti-Trafficking Hotline in Canada: +1 833 900 1010

Trans Lifeline: +1 877 330 6366

Support for sexual misconduct for current or former members of the Armed Forces: +1 844 750 1648

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