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Harvey Weinstein

The Jury In The Harvey Weinstein Case Is Confused By The Charges

Gettyimages | Scott Heins
By Carolyn B.

The New York trial against Harvey Weinstein is reaching an end. The former producer will soon learn his fate at the hands of the jury assigned to the case. But first, the jurors need a few things cleared up.

After their first hour of deliberation, the jury asked for clarification on the charges against Weinstein. It turns out, there are a lot of details that go into this sentencing that dictate how the former producer can be charged and sentenced.

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Alternative Charges

Harvey Weinstein
Gettyimages | Jeenah Moon

Weinstein is currently waiting to be sentenced on five different charges, but he will only be able to be found guilty of two at the most. He is facing charges of first and third-degree rape, first-degree sexual act, and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

These are considered either/or charges, or alternative charges. There are multiple charges for each accuser, but the jury will have to choose which ones to charge Weinstein with. The former producer can only be charged with one count per accuser. There are two accusers in the case, Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann.

Lots Of Jail Time

Harvey Weinstein
Gettyimages | Jeenah Moon

Though he can only be officially charged with two of the counts against him, Weinstein could still face a lot of prison time if convicted.

The first-degree charges could grant Weinstein with 5-25 years each. The two predatory sexual assault charges could be escalated by Annabella Sciorra's testimony and rape allegation, which could land Weinstein in prison for anywhere from 10 years to life. The third-degree charge is the lightest, with only a potential four-year sentence. Probation is also an option for the third-degree charge.

Victim-Blaming

Annabella Sciorra
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Annabella_Sciorra_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

Sciorra has faced a lot of scrutiny and victim-blaming at the hands of Weinstein's defense team. The actor was asked pressing questions about the night Weinstein allegedly assaulted her when she took the stand to give her testimony.

The defense lawyers grilled Sciorra for not reporting the incident to the police, implying she was not very upset if she kept the encounter a secret. They also asked her why she did not fight back in specific ways, despite her assertions that she did try to fend off her attacker.

Causing Trouble

Harvey Weinstein
Gettyimages | JNI/Star Max

Followers of the case were critical of Weinstein's lawyers due to their treatment of the witnesses. But this was far from the first time the defense team got into trouble during this process.

Weinstein's first witness was accused of having a bias against the alleged victims. Text messages were read aloud in court showing his loyalty to Weinstein. The former producer's lawyer was later reprimanded by the judge for writing a public op-ed imploring the jurors to find Weinstein innocent of all charges.

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