The jury in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial appeared deadlocked as they headed into the second week of deliberations, but one legal expert believes that the explosive trial is set to reach its conclusion on Monday.
Jurors in the New York City trial have been deliberating on several charges of rape against the disgraced movie mogul and asked a judge on Friday if they could be deadlocked on the top charges while returning verdicts on the lesser counts.
As Michael Bachner told Page Six, the questions from the jury seemed to indicate that deliberations were nearing an end.
“It sounds to me, based upon the deadlock note and the fact they’ve indicated they’ve reached a verdict to some counts, I think we should be expecting a verdict on Monday,” said Bachner, a defense attorney who was not working on the Weinstein case. “Either a partial verdict, where the jury says we can’t come to a conclusion on the undecided counts, or there’s going to be a full verdict. There will be a verdict on Monday based upon the notes.”
The jury appeared to be stuck on the charges of predatory sexual assault, which require them to believe that Weinstein raped former The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra as well as one of the other major allegations — that he forcibly performed oral sex on Miriam Haleyi or raped Jessica Mann. If convicted of this aggravated charge, Weinstein could be sentenced to life in prison.
As Buzzfeed News noted, Weinstein could still face significant time behind bars if convicted on the other individual charges. If the jury believes Haley’s allegations, Weinstein can be found guilty of criminal sexual acts in the first degree, which would carry a sentence of at least five years and up to 25 years in prison. The jury could also find him guilty of first- or third-degree rape if they believe Mann’s allegation, which would carry a sentence of up to 25 years for the greater charges and up to four years in prison for the lower.
The statute of limitations had run out on Sciorra’s allegation, but her testimony was critical to the predatory sexual assault charge.
Bachner said the jury’s questions about the predatory sexual assault charge likely means they have already found him guilty of one of the lesser charges.
“Assuming for a moment the jury’s note means they have reached a verdict as to some of the lesser charges. If that verdict was not guilty, there would be no reason to consider the testimony of Annabella Sciorra,” he said.