Harvey Weinstein branded 'abusive rapist' and 'predator' in closing arguments

Harvey Weinstein has been branded an ‘abusive rapist’ and ‘predator’ in the closing arguments of his trial.

The disgraced mogul is currently on trial in New York City and facing five charges – one count of rape in the first degree, one count of rape in the third degree, one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, and two counts of predatory sexual assault – to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi reportedly described Weinstein’s alleged victims as ‘ants that he could step on’ to jurors on Friday.

‘When Harvey Weinstein met the witnesses, he looked quite different than he does today,’ she said at the Manhattan Criminal Court, according to Variety. ‘They were scared. They felt isolated and they were alone.’

Illuzzi also sought to point out similarities in the women’s claims, arguing that multiple felt ‘tricked’ by the 67-year-old. She said: ‘If you have to trick someone, it’s not consent.’

Following closing arguments, the jury will then begin deliberating their decision next week, and their decision must be unanimous. The jury is made up of seven men and five women.

Weinstein was recently seen arriving at his court date in New York City, aided by a walker after undergoing surgery on his back last year.

It was recently revealed that Weinstein is not set to testify, with lawyer Damon Cheronis telling the court: ‘Obviously, he pleaded not guilty. The state hasn’t met their burden and he’s not going to testify.’

Leaving the courthouse on Tuesday, Weinstein said that he had considered testifying.

Judge James Burke then told the jurors: ‘This concludes the evidence portion of the trial. When I see you on Thursday morning, you will hear the closing arguments. I believe there’s no time limit on that.

‘Whenever [Rotunno] finishes, we’ll finish for the day, and Friday morning we’ll hear the closing arguments or summations from Ms. [Joan] Illuzzi. When she finishes, we’ll finish for the day.’

He explained that he will give jurors instructions prior to their deliberation, and said: ‘And then I will ask you to deliberate and reach a unanimous verdict on each count, then that will be that.’

Weinstein’s trial began earlier this year, on 6 January.

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