Harvey Weinstein will face fewer charges in his current Los Angeles trial with the prosecution announcing that they are not proceeding with a key victim, Jane Doe #5.
Weinstein now faces seven counts that stem from four women, rather than five Jane Does. Initially, he was facing 11 charges and maximum of 140 years in prison, if convicted. Now, the new maximum exposure is 60 years to life plus five.
More from Variety
The charges being dropped are a win for Weinstein, particularly because two of the dismissed charges were counts of rape, which carry the most years — with all five victims involved in the case, he would have faced four rape charges, but now faces two. The remaining counts that Weinstein now faces in the case are two charges of rape and five counts of sexual assault.
Jane Doe #5 was associated to four charges in total (charges 8-11) two of which were counts of forcible rape. The other two charges in the indictment were both counts of forcible 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 did not 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 made a motion to dismiss the charges, and the prosecution could not proceed,” deputy D.A. Marlene Martinez, one of the prosecutors on the case, told Variety in the courthouse hallway on Tuesday, declining to provide any further details.
After Jane Doe #5 was left out of opening statement, the D.A.’s office provided a brief statement to Variety, stating: “While we have no comment at this time, our office is tirelessly ensuring all of the victims in this case receive justice.”
Variety has reached out to attorney Gloria Allred, who was representing Jane Doe #5 in the case. Allred declined to comment.
Today, the final charged witness — Jane Doe #4, Jennifer Siebel Newsom — continues on the stand. The wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom is an actor and filmmaker who alleges that Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted her in 2005 when she was up-and-coming in the entertainment business.
Best of Variety