Prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial have rested their case after more than two weeks of testimony punctuated by harrowing accounts from six women.
The women say the film producer ignored their pleas of “no” and excused his predatory behaviour as a Hollywood norm.
“The people rest, judge,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said on Thursday, moving the closely watched celebrity trial one step closer to a verdict.
Now Weinstein’s lawyers will start calling witnesses of their own. They haven’t said whether Weinstein himself will testify.
Doing so could bring big risks because prosecutors would be able to grill him about each of the allegations that jurors have already heard about in vivid detail.
Among the witnesses the defence is expected to call is a psychologist who specialises in human memory.
The defence is looking to raise doubts about the women’s recollections of encounters that in some cases are more than a decade or two old.
Weinstein, 67, maintains that any sexual encounters were consensual.
The criminal charges at the trial in New York City are based on two allegations: that Weinstein raped a woman in March 2013 and that he forced oral sex on another woman in 2006.
The allegations against Weinstein helped fuel the MeToo movement. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.