Defense rests in Harvey Weinstein sex crimes case

Defense rests in Harvey Weinstein sex crimes case
Harvey Weinstein arrives for his rape trial, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in New York. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

NEW YORK — The defense rested its case Tuesday in the sex crimes trial of embattled Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of sexually assaulting two women in separate incidents in 2006 and 2013.

Weinstein, 67, faces charges including first-degree rape, third-degree rape and predatory sexual assault. Authorities have said he's suspected of raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on another in 2006. Weinstein has denied the allegations and insisted all sexual encounters were consensual.

Closing arguments in the case against Weinstein were expected to begin Thursday and continue through Friday, USA Today reported.

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“Then Tuesday morning, I will give you the final instructions on the law, which should take about an hour, and then I will ask you to deliberate and reach a verdict on each count,” Judge James Burke told the jury Tuesday, according to USA Today. “And that will be that.”

Weinstein declined to take the witness stand in his defense, USA Today reported. His attorneys called seven witnesses, including a longtime Weinstein friend who claimed he had a “sex addiction” and former associates of the six women who had taken the stand to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, CNN reported.

Claudia Salinas, a Mexican model and actress, took the stand to defend herself against accuser Lauren Marie Young’s claim that she stood by and did nothing while Weinstein sexually assaulted Young at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013. Young, a model, testified last week that Salinas closed the door behind her and Weinstein as they went into the bathroom, where she alleges he stripped off his clothes, grabbed her breast and masturbated.

Once it was over, Young said she found Salinas standing outside the bathroom and shot her an evil look before leaving as quickly as she could.

“If I had done that, I would remember that,” Salinas testified. “I would never close the door on anybody.”

Weinstein's trial comes more than two years after allegations against the former movie magnate sparked an outcry that mushroomed into the #MeToo movement.

Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, according to Reuters. In addition to the accusations leveled against him in New York, Weinstein faces forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and other charges in Los Angeles stemming from a pair of alleged incidents in 2013.

If he’s convicted of the most serious charges against him, two counts of predatory sexual assault, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.