LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors in Los Angeles rested their case Thursday in the trial of Harvey Weinstein, who they allege raped two women and sexually assaulted two others.
The move from Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson came after nearly four weeks of testimony from 44 witnesses.
Weinstein is charged with crimes against four of them: one a model, another a model and actor, a third a massage therapist.
The fourth, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker who was an actor at the time of her alleged rape and is now married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, provided the most dramatic moments at the trial so far with her emotional testimony.
Four other women who are not involved with the charges testified that Weinstein sexually assaulted them, as prosecutors sought to show he had a propensity for such acts.
Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench denied a motion from Weinstein’s lawyers to dismiss all of the counts against Weinstein, which they said prosecutors failed to prove.
“We are nearing the end of this case if you haven’t already picked up on that fact,” Lench told the jurors, who will get Thanksgiving week off and return for testimony by defense witnesses on Nov. 28.
She warned them not to consume any trial-related media singling out “any movie trailers that may be related to this case or movies that may be related to this case – well, not related to this case, but related to this issue.”
Without saying the name of the movie, she was clearly referring to the Friday release of “She Said,” a film about the New York Times reporting of the 2017 stories that put Weinstein at the center of the #MeToo movement.
Once the jury was excused, Weinstein’s lawyer entered a new not guilty plea for him to an amended indictment that drops four of the 11 previous counts against him. The move became necessary when prosecutors said earlier this week that the accuser known in court as Jane Doe #5 would not be appearing to testify and that the counts would no longer be pursued. They would not give a reason when asked.
Weinstein spokesman Juda Engelmayer said in response to the dropped charges that “this witness could have felt uneasy about being scrutinized knowing the truth of the matter.”
Nor did prosecutors explain why Mel Gibson was missing. They never called the actor, director and one of the trial’s most anticipated witnesses to the stand. The judge had ruled at the start of trial that Gibson could testify about a conversation he had with the massage therapist Weinstein is charged with sexually assaulting.