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Closing Arguments Issued In Harvey Weinstein Trial: 'He Was An Abusive Rapist'

Gettyimages | Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
By Michael Coe

The Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial is coming to an end, with closing arguments issued this past Thursday by the defense and closing arguments issued today by the prosecution.

Yesterday, Weinstein defense lawyer Donna Rotunno issued her closing arguments and asked the jury to ignore media narratives around Weinstein and to make their decision based on "facts". Today, a very different sentiment was put forth by District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, who tore into Weinstein and labeled him an "abusive rapist".

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Illuzi began her closing arguments by labeling Weinstein, "a master of the universe" who used his power and influence to exploit and dehumanize the women beneath him. Illuzzi claimed that Weinstein saw women like, “ants that he could step on.”

Illuzzi also claimed that Weinstein ultimately underestimated his victims, saying, "he also underestimated them...he made sure he had contact… to make sure that one day they wouldn’t call him for exactly what he was: an abusive rapist. Well, he was wrong.”

Gettyimages | Stephanie Keith

Illuzi went into great detail about the pain and suffering caused by Weinstein's actions. She centered her statements mainly on the testimony of actress Annabella Sciorra, who accused Weinstein of raping her in her apartment. Illuzi aggressively refuted the defense's argument that Sciorra was accusing Weinstein in order to boost her career by bringing up Sciorra's experiences with self-harm in the wake of the assault, saying, "to have to tell you that she was cutting herself and then dabbing her blood with a tissue and putting it on the wall with gold leaf… do you think that’s a career booster?”

Gettyimages | Spencer Platt

Illuzzi concluded her statement by asserting, "“it’s really quite simple. These ladies are all the complete disposables [to Weinstein]." Illuzzi ultimately credited Sciorra with helping to break the cycle of silence, stating, "these other women, they were never in his world, they were never going to be in his word, they’re never going to be strong enough, bold enough or brave enough to tell. But Annabella? Hmm. Someone might believe her.”

Final deliberations from the jury will begin on Tuesday.

Gettyimages | Yana Paskova

Weinstein is currently facing several charges: two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of a first-degree criminal sexual act, and one count each of first and third-degree rape. Weinstein, 67, faces life in prison for these accusations.

Weinstein's trial has been the subject of intense media attention. The 2017 reports published by The New York Times and The New Yorker, which documented decades of Weinstein's exploitation and sexual abuse of women, are largely credited with starting the #MeToo movement and leading to greater exposure of sexual misconduct in business and entertainment.

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