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Harvey Weinstein won’t testify, defense rest in sex crimes trial

NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein will not take the stand to defend himself at his sex-crimes trial as his legal team announced in court Tuesday that the defense rested its case. 

After testimony by one defense witness followed by a long break in the witness room with his defense team, Weinstein returned to court to be asked by Judge James Burke what he planned to do next. The jury was out of the courtroom.  

“He’s pled not guilty and he’s not going to testify,” responded defense lawyer Damon Cheronis. 

“Mr. Cheronis, does the defense have any more witnesses to call?” asked Burke. 

“No, your honor. The defense rests.”

In criminal trials, a defendant is not required to take the stand to defend himself. The prosecution has the sole burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and all 12 members of a jury must vote unanimously to convict or acquit. Judges typically instruct juries not to hold a decision not to take the stand against defendants. 

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