Harvey Weinstein won’t testify; defense rests in sex crimes trial

Jessica Mann returns after shocking testimony

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NEW YORK – Harvey Weinstein will not take the stand to defend himself at his sex crimes trial, and 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. The jury was out of the courtroom.  

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

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

“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 it against defendants if they decide not to take the stand. 

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