The jury in the trial of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is deadlocked on the most serious charges against him.
On Friday, the jury asked Judge James Burke if it could abstain from returning a verdict on two counts of predatory sexual assault, while declaring Weinstein guilty on all other counts. After consulting with lawyers in the case, Burke advised the jury to keep deliberating and see if they can come to a unanimous verdict. Lawyers for Weinstein indicated they would accept a partial verdict, which prosecutors and Burke opposed.
The two charges of predatory sexual assault stem from allegations by Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra that Weinstein raped her in the mid-1990’s. Jurors on Friday focused on studying Sciorra’s testimony.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, and are not subject to New York’s statute of limitations.
Weinstein is accused by over 30 actresses and former employees of rape or other sexual offenses. In December, the producer reached a tentative $25 million out-of-court settlement with a number of accusers whose cases would otherwise be difficult to pursue.
The allegations against Weinstein were revealed by reporter Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker in 2017. Farrow subsequently asserted that his former network, NBC News, had attempted to bury his story because Weinstein had threatened to expose sexual assault allegations against former Today Show host Matt Lauer. NBC has denied Farrow’s charges.
In his book Catch and Kill, Farrow also alleged that Weinstein used connections with Hillary Clinton’s publicist to try to suppress the report.