News World Harvey Weinstein won’t testify at rape trial

Harvey Weinstein won’t testify at rape trial

harvey weinstein
More than 80 women have accused the film maker, but he faces only five criminal charges. Photo: AAP
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Harvey Weinstein will not testify in his own defence at his rape trial in New York his legal team says.

The announcement came as Weinstein’s lawyers rested their case on Tuesday after putting on four days of testimony.

After consulting with Weinstein for half an hour on Tuesday morning, lawyer Damon Cheronis informed the court of his decision.

“The state hasn’t met their burden and he’s not going to testify,” Mr Cheronis said.

Weinstein also faces a charge of predatory sexual assault and criminal sex acts in connection with a former production assistant who alleges that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in at his apartment in 2006.

If convicted on all counts, Weinstein faces life in prison.

Closing arguments from both sides are expected to begin on Thursday. The jury is slated to begin deliberation next Tuesday, following the Presidents Day holiday.

Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer who is pursuing civil claims against Weinstein on behalf of three women, said in a statement on Tuesday that he looked forward to taking Weinstein’s deposition.

“Weinstein may be able to avoid testifying in the criminal trial, but he will not be afforded that right in his civil trials,” Wigdor said.

“I relish the day when I get to cross-examine him and ask him to answer for the wrongs he has committed against so many women.”

On his way out of the courthouse, Weinstein was asked by reporters if he was actually considering testifying.

“I was,” he responded.

-with AAP