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After four days of witness testimony, Harvey Weinstein’s defense team on Tuesday morning its their case in his sexual assault trial after calling a final witness and announcing that their client will not testify.
The prosecution rested its case last Thursday, after 12 days of witness testimony.
Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lead defense lawyer, will present her closing argument on Thursday, followed by lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi, most likely on Friday. The jury could begin deliberating on their decision, which must be unanimous, by Tuesday of next week.
“This concludes the evidence portion of the trial,” Judge James Burke told the jurors Tuesday afternoon. “When I see you on Thursday morning, you will hear the closing arguments. I believe there’s no time limit on that. Whenever [Rotunno] finishes, we’ll finish for the day, and Friday morning we’ll hear the closing arguments or summations from Ms. [Joan] Illuzzi. When she finishes, we’ll finish for the day.”
Prior to the deliberation process, the judge will give the jurors instructions, which he said will take about an hour. “And then I will ask you to deliberate and reach a unanimous verdict on each count, then that will be that,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Weinstein’s lawyers announced that he would not be testifying in his New York County criminal trial.
The announcement was made after Weinstein’s lawyers consulted with their client during a lengthy recess in the day’s testimony.
During the jury selection process, Weinstein’s lawyers pressed potential jurors to ensure that they wouldn’t hold it against their client if he chooses not to testify in his defense.
“Are you going to hold it against Mr. Weinstein if he doesn’t testify?” defense lawyer Arthur Aidala asked potential jurors in early January. “You can assure us that if Mr. Weinstein elects his constitutional right to not testify, you’re not going to hold it against him?”
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