Defense declines to call Harvey Weinstein to testify, rests case

2-3 minutes

Harvey Weinstein's lawyers rested their case Tuesday without calling the former Hollywood producer as a witness at his sex assault trial in New York City.

The defense team questioned one witness Tuesday before taking a break during which time Weinstein consulted with his lawyers. When court resumed, the lawyers told Judge James Burke their client wouldn't take the witness stand.

"He's pled not guilty, and he's not going to testify," attorney Damon Cheronis said.

He then said the defense had no further witnesses to call.

The defense lawyers told NBC News that Weinstein wanted to testify but they ultimately decided against it.

Prosecutors rested their case last week after after calling six women. Weinstein is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcing a sex act on another seven years earlier. One prosecution witness, actress Annabelle Sciorra, testified last month she was raped in the early 1990s after Weinstein forced his way inside her apartment.

The 67-year-old Weinstein could spend the rest of his life in prison if he's convicted. He has said all the sexual encounters mentioned at trial were consensual. Once one of the most powerful figures in the movie business, he faces one charge of first-degree rape, two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree rape.

In total, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Burke said the trial will resume Thursday, during which the defense will make its closing arguments. The prosecution will give its closing arguments Friday.

"Then Tuesday morning, I will give you the final instructions on the law, which should take about an hour, and then I will ask you to deliberate and reach a verdict on each count," Burke told the jury. "And that will be that."
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Defense declines to call Harvey Weinstein to testify, rests case Defense declines to call Harvey Weinstein to testify, rests case Reviewed by kogonuso on February 11, 2020 Rating: 5

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