The jury in the Harvey Weinstein trial has been sent home for the weekend and will return on Monday to keep deliberating after informing the judge Friday afternoon that they are having trouble reaching verdicts on the most serious charges.
After lunch on Friday, the jurors sent a note to the judge asking what to do if they could not reach a verdict on either of two counts of predatory sexual assault, but were unanimous on the other charges.
Justice James Burke conferred for several minutes with the attorneys before instructing the jury to continue to deliberate.
Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting Miriam Haley in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann in 2013. The two predatory sexual assault counts also include the allegation that he raped Annabella Sciorra in the early 1990s.
The jury’s question indicates that they have unanimously agreed that he is guilty of at least one count — either first-degree rape or first-degree criminal sexual act — but are divided on whether to believe Sciorra.
Earlier on Friday, the jury heard a significant portion of Sciorra’s testimony read back to them.
“We the jury request to understand if we can be hung on 1 and/or 3 and unanimous on the other charges,” the jury asked.
Count 1 — the first predatory sexual assault count — contains the allegation that Weinstein assaulted both Haley and Sciorra. Count 3 is the second count of predatory sexual assault, and contains the allegations of Mann and Sciorra. Count 2 is a charge of criminal sexual act, and pertains only to Haley. Counts 4 and 5 are first- and third-degree rape, and pertain only to Mann.
Each count of predatory sexual assault carries a potential sentence of 10 years to life in prison. If convicted of first-degree rape or criminal sex act, Weinstein would face 5 to 25 years. The third-degree rape charge carries a maximum of four years.
The jurors have been deliberating since Tuesday morning.
After receiving the note, Burke asked if the attorneys would accept a “partial verdict.” The defense indicated they would accept such a verdict, but Assistant D.A. Joan Illuzzi asked that the jury be instructed to keep deliberating.
Burke did not directly answer the jury’s question, but instead told them to keep trying to agree.
“If you do not reach a unanimous agreement on a particular count, you cannot return a verdict at that count,” he said. “Thank you for your hard work. Please go resume your deliberations.”
At 3 p.m., the judge called the jury back into the courtroom and instructed them to return on Monday. Burke had asked if the attorneys would be willing to stay later on Friday afternoon, if it appeared that a verdict was imminent. But Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lead defense counsel, said she had to catch a plane to attend a funeral.