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In closing arguments, Friday, New York prosecutors told jurors that former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein abused his power… and that he had counted on his sexual assault victims never coming forward.
Assistant District Attorney, Joan Illuzzi said Weinstein had underestimated his victims. She said they were credible and had no reason to lie.
This - a day after the defense assailed Weinstein’s accusers as unreliable, and said the prosecution was trying to portray consensual sex as assault.
The 67-year-old movie mogul has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress named Jessica Mann in 2013.
Defense Attorney Donna Rotunno told reporters, Friday, the evidence proved Weinstein had consensual relationships.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) WEINSTEIN DEFENSE ATTORNEY, DONNA ROTUNNO, SAYING:
"This is a case that should be about evidence. It shouldn't be about emotion. It shouldn't be about feelings, and it's not a popularity contest. And in this case, the evidence was all on our side."
Illuzzi on Friday rejected the defense's claim that Mann actually had a loving relationship with Weinstein, adding it wouldn't matter if Mann had been in love with him, because quote - "He still wouldn't be allowed to rape her on March 18 of 2013.”
Women's rights lawyer, Gloria Allred, spoke highly of Illuzzi's closing arguments:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWYER GLORIA ALLRED, SAYING:
"Her themes were Mr. Weinstein was powerful, he manipulated these women..."
The jury is expected to deliberate next week.
Weinstein could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge - predatory sexual assault.