After over two years of numerous allegations of sexual assault coming to light, Harvey Weinstein is finally being judged in a court of law.
With the jury having been selected earlier this month, the trial began on January 22, where Weinstein faced five indictments of alleged nonconsensual encounters including two counts of rape to the first and third degree, one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, and two more counts of predatory sexual assault.
However, the focus of the defense’s case is that the sexual nature of the relationships between Weinstein and the other women were consensual. Damon Cheronis, one of the Weinstein’s lead attorneys, reported that he plans to reference various emails sent between the accused and the witnesses to demonstrate how they considered Weinstein as a person they cared about both before and after the supposed assault.
In response, the prosecution led by Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzi and Maghan Hast not only employed witness testimonies, including actress Annabella Sciorra, but expert ones as well to counter Cheronis’ team and dispel misconceptions about how common it is for sexual assault victims to interact with their abusers in a friendly manner.
In the opening statements last week, Sciorra testified Weinstein raped her in her Manhattan apartment in the early 1990s, and also showed up uninvited outside her hotel room in his underwear. The only things in his hand were baby oil and a video recorder.
It was also revealed that the prosecution disclosed that Weinstein injected erection medication into his genitals before beginning to sexually assault a woman.
The week ended with testimony from actress Rosie Perez, who testified that Ms. Sciorra told her in 1993 that Mr. Weinstein attacked her.
As the case move forwards, prosecutors will continue to make their case against Weinstein this week.
With the trial having yet to completely unfold, it is key to note how Harvey Weinstein is only one of 263 celebrities, CEOs, and politicians who have been accused of sexual misconduct since April 2017. With big names such as R. Kelly, Michael Douglas, and David Copperfield being thrown in the mix, what exactly goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry demonstrates that now, more than ever, there needs to be a brighter light that will expose what has lurked in the shadows for far too long.