LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was a “predator” with unmistakable patterns who used his Hollywood power to lure women into meetings, sexually assault them and escape the consequences, a prosecutor said in closing arguments Wednesday to form
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was a “predator” with unmistakable patterns who used his Hollywood power to lure women into meetings, sexually assault them and escape consequences, a prosecutor said during closing arguments Wednesday at the trial of the former movie mogul in Los Angeles.
Assistant District Attorney Marlene Martinez said accusers who testified at the trial walked into Weinstein’s hotel suites or let him into their hotel rooms with no idea what to expect. .
“Who would suspect such a titan of the entertainment industry would be a degenerate rapist?” Assistant District Attorney Marlene Martinez told jurors.
She consistently pointed to the similarity of the testimony of the four women Weinstein is accused of raping or sexually assaulting and the four other female accusers who testified to show his propensity for such acts.
“It’s eight women who don’t know each other,” Martinez said, showing the jury a composite image of them all on a screen. “They all describe the same conduct by the same man.”
Weinstein’s attorneys said, and are likely to argue in their own closing on Thursday, that two of the women had consensual sex for career advancement with the film producer. Her lawyers said meetings with the other two women did not take place at all.
After more than five weeks of testimony, jurors, set to hear the case on Thursday, will be tasked with deciding two counts of rape and five other counts of sexual assault dating from 2005 to 2013. Weinstein, 70, pleaded not guilty .
In her conclusion, Martinez described what she said were Weinstein’s consistent tactic over the decades. He was arranging to meet a woman in a hotel. Then he would find a way to get her into his suite. He then went from “charming and complimentary to aggressive and demanding,” she said, masturbating in front of them, groping or raping them, often finding ways to keep them from leaving.
“For this predator, hotels were his trap,” Martinez said. “Confined within these walls, the victims could not escape its imposing mass. People couldn’t hear their cries, they couldn’t see them cower.
She noted that many women before their assaults were reassured by the presence of other women who worked with Weinstein. These women were suddenly and unexpectedly leaving victims alone and isolated with him, Martinez said.
“He used women to make these women feel comfortable,” Martinez said, “to let their guard down.”
Three of these women testified during the trial. All said they had little recollection of the accusers or the meetings they allegedly took them to, which Martinez called “practices,” suggesting they had betrayed their fellow human beings.
“Isn’t there a code for girls?” said Martinez. “Apparently, if you know the accused, there’s no code for girls.”
She said that during the encounters, Weinstein ignored clear and repeated signs of a lack of consent.
She frequently returned to a line from a witness who seemed of minimal importance when he was on the stand, Weinstein’s Limousine driver in Los Angeles, Freddy Baroth, who testified that he was often ordered to run red lights when Weinstein was in a hurry, saying “when Harvey wants to go, you go.
“He didn’t care about ‘no’s,” Martinez said. “He didn’t care about red lights.”
She used variations of the image throughout her argument.
Weinstein, seated at the defense table, didn’t watch Martinez across the courtroom during her presentation, staring forward, staring at the screen she was projecting images on, and lowering sometimes the eyes to take notes.
During their cross-examinations of the women, defense attorneys often challenged them for continued associations with Weinstein after their alleged assaults. Some met him or emailed him again. Others attended parties and premieres at his invitation. A massage therapist who alleged he assaulted her after treatment twice agreed to treat him again.
Martinez urged jurors not to dwell too much on these women’s choices, saying they were the result of Weinstein’s deliberate attempts to cover up what he did to them.
“If his victims were photographed at those parties,” she said, “if they took those meetings, how could they accuse him of sexual assault?”
She said he used his power as much after the assaults as before and during them.
“He used that power to live his life without the repercussions of his predatory behavior,” Martinez said.
The proceedings coincided with several trials on both coasts of Hollywood men with #MeToo implications, including the rape trial just down the hall of Danny Masterson, which was declared a mistrial while Martinez delivered his closing argument. .
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Andrew Dalton, Associated Press