Partner Heidi Reavis Quoted in USA Today on Weinstein Trial Jury’s Deliberation
On Tuesday of this week, the jury in the trial for the sex-crimes case against Harvey Weinstein started their deliberations with several questions, which continued on Wednesday for their second day. They requested read-backs of all of the testimony from key accuser Mimi Haleyi as well as the testimony of actress Rosie Perez, who was a witness testifying in the matter of the second key accuser, actress Annabella Sciorra. They asked to hear again the legal definitions of rape, oral sex, consent and “forcible compulsion,” and they requested copies of texts, emails, a PowerPoint presentation from the prosecution, and a floor plan of Weinstein’s apartment in Soho. They also asked for clarification as to why Weinstein wasn’t being charged for Sciorra’s allegation of rape from 1993-94.
USA Today ran a piece Wednesday afternoon detailing the two days’ events and explaining the jury’s questions. They reached out to RPJ Partner Heidi Reavis to get her take as an expert in the legal field regarding sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, asking for her perspective on the jury’s requests and re-examination of testimony and evidence.
In a case as multi-faceted as this one, and in a time of evolving legal treatment and cultural definitions of sex crimes, Reavis commended the jury for their intentional consideration of the facts. She acknowledged, however, how difficult it can be for a jury now to understand the legal precedent for un-charged sexual assaults of the past having such import today, especially when directly juxtaposed with and referenced in order to support allegations that are more recent.
“We live in a world of forensic data where even the most casual conversation leaves a forensic trail, whereas sexual assaults are usually private and intimate by definition. Will the jury discount testimony that is not directly supported by forensic proof? Will this come down—once again—to ‘he said’ over ‘she said’?”
Read Reavis’s full comments in the USA Today article, “Harvey Weinstein trial jury deliberates his fate with lots of questions along the way.”