The prosecution in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial rested its case Thursday following more than two weeks of graphic, emotional testimony from six of the more than 80 women who have accused the former film mogul of sexual assault and harassment.
The criminal charges at the center of the trial are based on allegations from two women: Mimi Haley, a former "Project Runway" production assistant, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Manhattan apartment in 2006, and Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, who alleges he raped her in 2013.
But prosecutors were permitted to call other accusers to testify in a bid to show Weinstein, 67, is a serial sexual predator who lured and abused women over decades. If he is convicted, he could go to prison for the rest of his life.
Donna Rotunno, one of Weinstein's defense attorneys, almost immediately asked the judge to dismiss the high-profile case on Thursday. But Judge James M. Burke of New York Supreme Court denied that request.
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Weinstein's lawyers began calling witnesses Thursday afternoon, starting with Paul Feldsher, a former film producer who worked with Weinstein on projects and testified that he "did not believe [Weinstein] was capable of the things he was charged with." But he later said Weinstein has a "voracious appetite for women."
It was not clear whether Weinstein, who has pleaded not guilty in the case and denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex, will take the witness stand.
The last accuser to take the witness stand, Lauren Marie Young, told jurors this week that the Oscar-winning producer behind "Pulp Fiction" and "The King's Speech" unzipped her dress, masturbated, touched her genitals and groped her breasts inside a hotel bathroom in 2013.
"I said 'no, no no,' four times, and I said, 'I have a boyfriend.' ... I was trapped," Young testified Wednesday.