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The state revealed the identity of the second woman who is part of the case against the embattled mogul, an aspiring actress named Jessica Mann.

On Wednesday morning, in graphic and extremely specific detail, a prosecutor outlined the case the State of New York will make against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in his sexual crimes trial.

“Over the course of the testimony, you will come to see that the man seated on that side of the court room, despite what your eyes are looking at, is not a harmless old man,” assistant district attorney Meghan Hast told the jurors, but is instead a “sexual predator and rapist.”

The prosecutor revealed the identity of the second woman — in addition to Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi — who is part of the case against Weinstein: an aspiring actress named Jessica Mann, who met Weinstein in 2013 as she tried to get her career off the ground.

Hast also told the jury about the “prior bad acts” witnesses who will serve to buttress the state’s case. In addition to Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, the list of testifying witnesses will feature three one-time aspiring actresses: Dawn Dunning, Tara Ley Wolf and Lauren Young.

In addition to telling jurors about the sexual crimes that the women claim Weinstein committed, the prosecutor told the jury that the State will explain — over the course of the trial — why they should not interpret friendly communications with Weinstein as evidence that the relationships were consensual.

Mann, she said, maintained a friendly relationship with Weinstein even after she alleges that he sexually assaulted her. “She tried to have some sort of relationship with the defendant,” Hast said. “Over the next few months years, she continued to see him. You will learn that Jessica Mann felt trapped. She felt that there was no way to get out without suffering — her friends, her career, or worse, physical harm. She could do this, she thought. Maybe he really did think she was talented. Maybe I can just grin and bear it. He became more demanding and violent, more violent and disgusting, so disgusting. Jessica Mann tried to put on a brave face, pretending to the world that nothing was wrong. All the while, you will learn, she was dying inside.”

Haleyi returned to Weinstein after having an encounter that she described as a sexual assault. “She thought when she went that she could somehow take the power back, but she was dealing with a sexual predator,” Hast said. “She left feeling ashamed, stupid and worthless.”

Shortly after noon, Weinstein attorney Damon Cheronis stood before the jurors and told them they have been misled by the prosecution. “What we just heard from Ms. Hast was truly a narrative that was spun to explain things that were inexplicable,” he said. “What you’re going to see is going to be shocking based on opening statements and what you’ve just heard.”

Cheronis said that Hast’s arguments are untrue. “What Ms. Hast just told you doesn’t hold water,” he said. “It’s not true. What we’ve waiting patiently to tell you the truth in this case. We’ve been waiting patiently as we’ve heard the word ‘predator’ used. This is the time where we get to tell you what happened.”

Over the course of the trial, Cheronis said that Weinstein’s team will prove that his relationships with the women who will be testifying were consensual.

“They are trying to shift around the inexplicable,” Cheronis said of the women. “The truth doesn’t change when the articles comes out in 2017, and what we are going to do throughout the course of this trial is to show you the truth. ‘Victim’ is a conclusion that is only made after the case. It’s your job to be patient and to wait for after the cross-examinations. We are going to ask real questions in this case. … It’s not going to show that Harvey Weinstein was a predator to Jessica Mann. Quite the contrary. It’s not going to show that he was a predator to Miriam, quite the contrary.”

Weinstein was expressionless for most of Hast’s presentation, either looking down or at the screen displaying the Power Point slides she used. For the first time in his trial, which began on Jan. 6, Weinstein walked to the counsel’s table without the aid of a walker. 

Weinstein Trial



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