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Judge declares mistrial in Weinstein sentencing after jurors fail to unanimously agree on aggravating factors

Harvey Weinstein to face 24 more years in prison following guilty verdict
Harvey Weinstein to face 24 more years in prison following guilty verdict 02:46

After 10 days of deliberation, a Los Angeles jury has found disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein guilty of one count of rape.

"The women whom Harvey Weinstein victimized in Southern California deserved to have their day in court," said attorney Gloria Allred. "I'm glad that they received that in this criminal case."

Weinstein, 70, was charged in LA with seven sexual assault counts involving four women: three counts of forcible rape, two counts of sexual battery by restraint, one count of forcible oral copulation, and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

FILE - Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California, on October 4, 2022.  ETIENNE LAURENT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In addition to the one count of rape, Weinstein was found guilty of forced oral copulation and another sexual misconduct count relating to one of the four victims. The charges can carry a sentence of up to more years 24 years in prison. 

One of Allred's clients asked the attorney to read a statement on her behalf saying in part that she felt justice was served. 

"I feel relieved that Harvey Weinstein has been convicted because he deserves to be punished for the crimes he committed," Allred recited. "And he can no longer continue to use his power to sexually assault more women."

The jury did not reach a verdict on charges relating to two other alleged victims, one of whom was Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, the wife of Governor Gavin Newsom. 

"Throughout the trial, Weinstein's lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors, Siebel-Newsom said in a statement. "This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do. To all the survivors out there - I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you."

With no verdicts relating to the allegations from these two women, The court declared a mistrial.

He was acquitted of a sexual battery charge brought forth by a massage therapist who treated Weinstein at a hotel in 2010. 

The jurors returned to court on Tuesday to consider aggravating factors that will help determine the outcome of Weinstein's sentencing. 

However, the judge called a mistrial after hours of discussion as jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on those aggravating factors that could have extended sentencing by up to 24 years. 

The next hearing is set for Jan. 9, where they will determine how to proceed with the case. 

"I want to thank the survivors in this case, who exhibited extraordinary bravery in a case that put them in the national spotlight," wrote District Attorney George Gascón. "Subjecting oneself to, at times, brutal cross-examination can be retraumatizing and extraordinarily painful ... I am of course disappointed that the jury was split on some of the counts, but hope its partial verdicts bring at least some measure of justice to the victims."

Weinstein, who was extradited to Los Angeles for this trial, is currently serving a 23-year sentence in New York after being convicted in 2020 of rape and another criminal sex act.

The Los Angeles trial began in October. The charges involve accusations from four women spanning from 2005 to 2013. The jury heard from 49 witnesses in more than four weeks of testimony. Weinstein did not testify in his own defense in L.A.

The former Hollywood mogul and co-founder of the entertainment company Miramax —  which produced movies like "Pulp Fiction" and "Shakespeare in Love" and which became ground zero for a litany of sex abuse allegations that came to light with the rise of the #MeToo movement — originally faced 11 charges in Los Angeles that, when taken together, could have amounted to a 65-year prison sentence had the jury found him guilty on all counts.

However, in a decision announced halfway through November, Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench dropped four of the original charges against Weinstein involving an accuser identified in an indictment as Jane Doe #5. The fifth accuser was not mentioned in prosecutors' opening statements and she did not testify during Weinstein's Los Angeles trial. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has not explained why.

The allegations brought against Weinstein in Los Angeles involved a group of eight women, all of whom were referred to as Jane Doe in court. Two accusers remained anonymous. The first, known as Jane Doe #1, a Russian actor and model, now based in Italy, gave an emotional three-day testimony and was the first witness to take the stand. The second, Jane Doe #3, testified that Weinstein trapped her in a hotel bathroom and assaulted her when she was hired to give him a massage in 2010.

All six remaining accusers have identified themselves publicly. They are: Siebel Newsom; Lauren Young, the only accuser who testified against Weinstein at both his Los Angeles and New York trials; Kelly Sipherd; Ambra Battilana Gutierrez; Natassia Malthe; and Ashley Matthau.

"They have demonstrated that empowered and courageous women are able to make powerful men accountable for the injustices that they have inflicted on women," said Allred, who also represented Young. "We should all be grateful to them for having made this a safer world for all of us."

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape 04:12

Anecdotally, more than 80 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Weinstein stretching back several decades. Many of them spoke out on the heels of 2017 reports by the New York Times and New Yorker that initially exposed the allegations and shared some women's stories.

Among those who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in some form are actors Ashley Judd, Kate Beckinsale, Cate Blanchett, Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, Helena Bonham Carter and Paz de la Huerta, along with many more. 

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