Harvey Weinstein tentative sentencing postponed for sexual assault conviction
Sentencing was postponed Monday for former film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was found guilty in December of sexually assaulting a woman in the Los Angeles area, but acquitted of charges related to a second alleged victim.
Weinstein's new sentencing date is scheduled for Feb. 23.
He was convicted Dec. 19, 2022 of three of the seven counts he was facing -- forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object. All three of those counts related to a woman identified as Jane Doe #1, with the crimes occurring on or about Feb. 18, 2013.
The eight-man, four-woman jury, which deliberated for 41 hours, deadlocked on charges related to two other women and on whether there were aggravating factors that would have lengthened his maximum potential prison sentence.
Weinstein, 70, who was extradited from New York to stand trial in Los Angeles, faces up to 18 years in prison
He has remained behind bars following his conviction in New York for raping an aspiring actress and of a criminal sex act against a former production assistant. The state's highest court has since agreed to hear his appeal in that case.
Los Angeles prosecutors still have to decide whether they want to retry the alleged aggravating factors, along with charges on which jurors deadlocked involving Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #4 -- the latter of whom has been publicly identified by her attorney as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson told the judge that the prosecution wants to consult with the alleged victims.
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Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench has also noted that she needed to research whether Weinstein's sentencing could go forward on the charges for which he was convicted, while separating that conviction from the charges on which the jury could not reach verdicts.
During the trial, jurors also heard from four other women who were allegedly sexually assaulted by Weinstein, but are not listed as charged victims in the case.
Weinstein -- who Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez had earlier called a "titan of the film industry" -- engaged in "despicable behavior" and made sure that the alleged victims knew he "could destroy them," the prosecutor said in her closing argument.
But in his argument, defense attorney Alan Jackson told the jury that the entirety of the prosecution's case could be summed up with five words -- "Take my word for it" -- and said the alleged victims lied on the stand about what was actually "consensual" or "transactional" sex with the now- disgraced filmmaker.
"Did one person come in here and say, `I said no to Harvey Weinstein and he screwed my career?' Was there one? ... Not one person said that because it's a fable ... It just isn't true," Jackson said.
Weinstein's attorney contended that two of the alleged attacks involving Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 "simply never happened" and that they were "fictionalized" accounts of events that never occurred. He said Weinstein's relationships with the other two alleged victims, including the governor's wife, were "100% consensual" and amounted to "transactional relationships."
The defense attorney ended his closing argument with an attack on the testimony of Siebel Newsom, which he called a "theatrical, overly dramatized performance" that was a "pretty good act" that had "no basis in truth."
"Jane Doe 4 cannot square in her mind that she's a successful, well- educated, well-bred, refined woman who had consensual sex with Harvey Weinstein in exchange for opportunity and access," he said of the governor's wife. "Regret is far from rape. You don't get to rewrite your own history no matter who you're married to."
As she wrapped up her closing argument, the prosecutor told jurors, "It is time for the defendant's reign of terror to end ... It is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice."
Martinez had told jurors earlier in her closing argument that Weinstein used his power to prey on and silence women. She called him a "predator," and said none of the women making accusations against Weinstein knew each other.
She noted that the women knew they would come to court and face tough questioning from the defense, and that they knew "his attorneys would call them bimbos in open court for having been raped."
Prosecutors have described Weinstein as one of the most powerful people in the industry at the time of the alleged crimes. Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson told jurors at the start of the case that Weinstein and his brother, Bob, created Miramax Films, which produced a number of "iconic and award-winning films" including "Pulp Fiction," "The English Patient," "Good Will Hunting" and "Shakespeare In Love," among others. The movies launched the careers of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow and Quentin Tarantino, Thompson said.
Weinstein did not testify in his own defense.