A Los Angeles choose dominated on Wednesday that 5 further witnesses can be allowed to testify in opposition to Harvey Weinstein at his upcoming rape trial, however excluded testimony from actresses Rose McGowan and Daryl Hannah.
Prosecutors needed to name 15 witnesses to testify concerning the producer’s “prior dangerous acts,” however the choose excluded 10 of them.
The choose will even permit jurors to be instructed of Weinstein’s New York conviction involving the sexual assault of Miriam Haley, although Haley won’t be referred to as to testify in L.A.
Weinstein is dealing with 11 counts of rape and sexual assault pertaining to 5 alleged victims. The prosecution needs to name the extra witnesses to indicate that Weinstein had a propensity to commit intercourse crimes.
His protection lawyer Mark Werksman argued on Wednesday that the witnesses would confuse the jury and serve merely to blacken his fame.
“The jury can be tempted to need to punish him for all of the issues they heard, whether or not they’re charged or not,” Werksman argued.
Paul Thompson, the lead prosecutor, argued that it was not the D.A.’s fault that so many ladies have been lining as much as testify in opposition to Weinstein.
“There’s one particular person on this courtroom who’s accountable for that,” he mentioned. “That’s Mr. Weinstein’s duty. Mr. Weinstein is the one who dedicated all of those offenses in opposition to so many ladies over so a few years.”
The D.A.’s movement and the protection’s opposition stay below seal. The witnesses have been recognized in court docket solely by first names, although some have been readily identifiable.
Werksman mentioned the prosecution was in search of to name “Daryl.”
“The prosecution intends to introduce her testimony with the inflammatory objective of attempting to recommend that this man is so despicable, he would try and rape America’s sweetheart — the mermaid from ‘Splash,’” Werksman mentioned.
Hannah has told her story to Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker, alleging that Weinstein twice pounded on her lodge room door, and that when she was compelled to flee out the again.
Werksman argued that Weinstein wasn’t even accused of a criminal offense in that incident, making it irrelevant to the case.
“She’s window-dressing — so the jury will hate Mr. Weinstein just a little greater than they already hate him,” he mentioned.
Werksman additionally referenced “Rose,” saying the prosecution needed her to testify that Weinstein had forcibly carried out oral intercourse on her in a lodge sizzling tub. Thompson mentioned the incident occurred in 1997.
McGowan was famously amongst Weinstein’s first public accusers, alleging that Weinstein assaulted her on the Sundance Movie Competition in 1997.
Lench dominated that any testimony pertaining to conduct previous to 2000 wouldn’t be allowed, thus excluding McGowan’s testimony.
The difficulty of “prior dangerous acts” witnesses has been one of the crucial essential elements in Weinstein’s first trial, in New York, and in Invoice Cosby’s two trials in Pennsylvania. Within the first Weinstein trial, three ladies have been allowed to testify to uncharged sexual assaults.
Weinstein is now interesting his conviction — which despatched him to jail for 23 years — partly on grounds that the extra testimony prejudiced the jury. An appeals court docket held a listening to on the matter in December, and some of the justices appeared sympathetic to the protection argument.
Werksman referenced the New York enchantment in his argument, warning that permitting too many “prior dangerous acts” witnesses would make any conviction in L.A. ripe for enchantment.
“It is a kamikaze run by the Folks,” he mentioned. “Possibly they’ll blame the (D.A.’s) appellate unit when the appeals court docket reverses the conviction.”
Thompson countered that the Legislature has allowed such witnesses for a very good cause, and that courts have repeatedly upheld their use in California trials.
“It’s constitutional,” he mentioned. “It’s permissible.”
Lench sought to pare down the checklist, permitting prosecutors to name ladies recognized in court docket solely as Natassia, Miss I. and Kelly S. Prosecutors will even be allowed to name two further ladies, although Lench gave the D.A.’s workplace the chance to decide on these witnesses from an inventory of seven.
Werksman was visibly pissed off by the ruling, arguing that the prosecutors had sought a excessive quantity as a “feint,” with a view to make the choose’s eventual ruling appear as if an affordable compromise.
“That is going to turn into a circus,” he mentioned. “I’d beg the court docket to rethink.”
The choose mentioned the events are anticipating starting the trial in September. The following listening to was set for June 10.