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Weinstein's Jury May Be Split on Most Serious Charges

Judge instructs them to keep it at on 4th day of deliberations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 21, 2020 1:58 PM CST

(Newser) – The jury deliberating in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial indicated Friday it is deadlocked on the most serious charges, per the AP. In a note sent to the judge during their lunch break, jurors asked if it were permissible for them to be hung on two counts of predatory sexual assault while reaching a unanimous verdict on other charges. After consulting with prosecutors and Weinstein's lawyers, Judge James Burke told the jury of seven men and five women to keep working toward a unanimous verdict on all charges. Weinstein's lawyers said they would accept a partial verdict, but prosecutors said no and Burke refused to do so. "It is not uncommon for a jury to believe they will never reach a unanimous verdict but on further deliberation, they are often able to reach a unanimous verdict," Burke said, per NBC News.

The charges the jury managed to reach a unanimous verdict on: one count of first-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape, and one count of a criminal sex act. The jury, in its fourth day of deliberations, has been particularly focused on the key aspect of two counts of predatory sexual assault: Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra's allegations that Weinstein raped and forcibly performed oral sex on her in the mid-1990s. Those charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. To convict Weinstein of a predatory sexual assault charge, jurors must agree on two things: that Weinstein raped or sexually assaulted Sciorra and that he committed one of the other charged offenses.

(Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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