Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Drop Four Charges In L.A. Rape Trial; Jennifer Siebel Newsom Testimony Continues

Prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles rape trial said Tuesday that they have decided not to move forward with four counts relating to Jane Doe #5. It means the producer now faces seven counts against the four remaining Jane Does: two counts of rape and five counts of sexual assault.

The news was somewhat expected as the L.A. District Attorney’s office left out Jane Doe #5 during its opening arguments, but said it was leaving open the possibility of her testifying.

After the prosecution revealed in today’s morning session that it would not move forward, the defense requested and Judge Lisa Lench granted the request to drop the charges of two counts of forcible rape and two counts of forcible oral copulation.

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Weinstein, who was in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom today as he has been throughout the length of the trial, had already pleaded not guilty on all 11 sexual assault charges brought by Los Angeles prosecutors that involve incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2013. If convicted on the seven remaining counts, the 70-year-old Weinstein faces a maximum prison sentence of 60 years to life plus five.

The rest of Tuesday’s morning session involved cross-examination of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Known as Jane Doe #4, she initially took the stand Monday to testify about an alleged assault by Weinstein at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.

Weinstein’s defense lawyer Mark Werkman spent the morning attempting to punch holes in Siebel Newsom’s testimony about her memories of the incident, and at various points the exchanges became emotional for the witness, who at one point in the questions from Werkman said “Your energy is just so intense…”

Later in the cross Werkman asked her, “Are you too tired to testify?”

“Sir?” she responded, tearing up.

“Are you able to answer my questions?” She responded yes.

“What you’re doing today is exactly what he did to me,” she said.

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