Last year, disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury, though in a mixed verdict, the hung jury could not reach an unanimous decision on all counts with the judge declaring a mistrial on three of seven charges.
The judge dismissed those three remaining charges, and ruled that she would not be putting Weinstein back on trial, reports Variety.
Prior to the judge’s decision, the prosecution announced that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office would not be proceeding with the remaining charges.
Weinstein was sentenced last month, to 16 additional years for his most recent conviction in L.A. He is already serving a 23-year sentence for his 2020 rape and sexual assault conviction in New York, and will all-but-likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. He is appealing both of his convictions.
After a two month trial in late 2022, the jury found Weinstein guilty of three counts of sexual assault and rape of sexual assault, and acquitted him of a sexual battery charge of a massage therapist, identified as Jane Doe #3.
The jurors were split on charges involving two other accusers: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, or Jane Doe #4, and Lauren Young, who was Jane Doe #2.
Although the jurors could not come to a unanimous agreement, their votes indicated they were leaning towards a conviction on both charges, voting 10-2 to convict him on a sexual battery charges against Young, and 8-4 in favour of conviction on charges of rape and forcible oral copulation of Siebel Newsom.
After the hearing on Tuesday, Young, who was an inspiring actor and screenwriter when she claims Weinstein assaulted her in 2013, spoke in court, urging the judge to retry the charges. Appearing with her attorney, Gloria Allred, Young said: “I think Harvey Weinstein should be punished for any and every crime.”
“Even though the defendant has been convicted of New York and L.A. for crimes against other women, Young said: “I wanted him to be held accountable for what he did to me.”
Young told Judge Lisa B. Lench that she believed a retrial of the remaining charges would set a precedent for sexual predators, and would give victims more hope in the justice system.
“He will always be remembered not as a great producer, but as a convicted felon and sexual predator,” Young said.
Siebel Newsom did not appear in court, but she provided a written statement that was read aloud by prosecutor Marlene Martinez. In the statement, Gov. Newsom’s wife said that her life has been greatly impacted by Weinstein allegedly raping her, and she has dealt with anxiety, lack of confidence and trouble in her relationships.
Siebel Newsom’s attorney, Elizabeth Fegan, said she respects the prosecution’s decision to not retry Weinstein on the charges related to her client, but said if the court had “not handed down a fitting sentence,” Siebel Newsom would have been “ready to support the prosecutors” if they opted to retry Weinstein, “even considering the enormous emotional toll it would inflict on her.”
Weinstein was in court on Tuesday morning. He was seated in a wheelchair next to one of his attorneys, Jacqueline Sparagna, and appeared to be listening intently, but did not visibly react to Young’s statement or the judge’s decision to dismiss the charges, reports Variety.
“He maintains his innocence in respect to Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #4,” Sparagna said to the judge at the hearing.
As lead prosecutor Paul Thompson pointed out when addressing the judge, Weinstein is serving a combined sentencing of 39 years and will spend the remainder of his life in prison.
Thompson explained that the Los Angeles D.A.’s office made the “difficult decision” not to proceed with a retrial, but not because they don’t believe in seeking justice for every victim. He noted that if they had opted to proceed with a new trial and had there been a conviction associated to Young’s charge, Weinstein would likely get one additional year in prison.
Thompson thanked Young for her commitment to seeking justice, having testified in both New York and Los Angeles.
After the brief morning hearing, Weinstein’s attorney, Sparagna, told the media in the hallway that he looks forward to his appeal on his Los Angeles conviction.
The three charges on which Weinstein was convicted were all associated to Evgeniya Chernyshova, a Russian-born Italian model, formerly known as Jane Doe No. 1 in the trial, who testified that Weinstein raped her in 2013 during the L.A. Italia Film Festival.
Weinstein’s defence has attacked her credibility, arguing that the court withheld relevant evidence, but the judge declined their request for a new trial with a new jury.
For the duration and preparation of his Los Angeles trial, Weinstein was extradited to the west coast and has been in L.A. County Jail. Now that he’s been convicted and all charges have been settled, he will return to prison in New York to finish the remainder of his 23-year sentence on the east coast, which he began serving in March 2020.
At his sentencing last month, Judge Lench ordered Weinstein to serve his 23-year sentence and 16-year L.A. sentence consecutively. On Tuesday, the judge announced that Weinstein will be sent back to New York imminently, but did not give an exact date for him to be moved out of L.A.