Weinstein chooses not to take stand as defense team rests case in rape trial

Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at Criminal Court during his sexual assault trial in the Manhattan borough of New York City. (Reuters)

Harvey Weinstein’s defense team rested its case in his rape trial Tuesday, without the fallen US film producer giving evidence, paving the way for closing arguments later this week.

Since testimony began on January 22, six women have taken the stand in New York to say they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein, allegations the ex-Hollywood titan denies.

All of the allegations in the proceedings, which are seen as a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement, are at least six years old, while one of them dates back three decades.

Weinstein, 67, faces life imprisonment if convicted of predatory sexual assault charges related to ex-actress Jessica Mann and former production assistant Mimi Haleyi.

Mann says the producer of “Pulp Fiction” and “Sin City” raped her in March 2013 while Haleyi alleges he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006.

The trial has raised complicated issues surrounding consent and abuse of power for the jury of seven men and five women to grapple with.

Under cross-examination, both Mann and Haleyi admitted to at least one consensual sexual encounter with Weinstein after the alleged assaults.

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