Harvey Weinstein will receive fewer charges in his current Los Angeles trial, with the prosecution announcing that they will not proceed with a key victim, Jane Doe #5.
Weinstein now faces seven counts stemming from four women, instead of five Jane Does. He initially faced 11 charges and up to 140 years in prison if convicted. Now the new maximum exposure is 60 years to life plus five.
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The charges being dropped is a victory for Weinstein, especially since two of the dismissed charges involved rape, which lasts most years — with all five victims involved in the case, he would have received four rape charges, but now two are facing. The remaining counts Weinstein now faces in the case are two counts of rape and five counts of assault.
Jane Doe #5 was charged with a total of four charges (charges 8-11), including two counts of forced rape. The other two charges in the indictment were both instances of forced oral copulation.
No reason was given for the change, but the move had been expected since the beginning of the trial, when the prosecution inexplicably failed to mention Jane Doe #5 in their opening statements. Since then, prosecutors had left open the possibility of her testifying, but confirmed on Tuesday that Jane Doe #5 will not testify.
“The defense filed a motion to dismiss the charges, and the prosecution was unable to proceed,” Deputy DA Marlene Martinez, one of the prosecutors in the case, told me. Variety in the courthouse hallway on Tuesday and declined to provide further details.
After Jane Doe #5 was omitted from the opening statement, the district attorney’s office issued a brief statement Varietystating, “While we have no comment at this time, our office is working tirelessly to ensure justice is served to all victims in this case.”
Variety contacted the attorney representing Jane Doe #5, who did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
Today, the last indicted witness – Jane Doe #4, Jennifer Siebel Newsom – continues on the stand. The wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom is an actor and filmmaker who claims Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted her in 2005 when she was emerging in the entertainment business.
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