Prosecutors on Friday accused Harvey Weinstein of abusing his power as a Hollywood mogul to prey on women, as his high-profile #MeToo rape trial draws to a close.
“The defendant was the master of the universe, and the witnesses were merely ants that he could step on without consequence’’ prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said.
In her closing arguments, Illuzzi highlighted Weinstein’s lack of human empathy for his alleged victims.
It’s the prosecution’s last chance to convince the jury of seven men and five women of the former movie producer’s guilt.
Jurors are set to begin their deliberations on Tuesday. If they decide Weinstein should be convicted of predatory sexual assault, he could face life behind bars.
The 67-year-old is charged with raping Jessica Mann in a New York hotel room in 2013 and forcing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006.
The two women gave emotional testimonies during the trial, along with several other accusers called by the prosecution in an effort to highlight a pattern of predatory behaviour by Weinstein.
Illuzzi is set to remind the jury of the accusers’ harrowing accounts in her final arguments after Weinstein’s defence team attempted to undermine their credibility in their closing statement on Thursday.
Weinstein, who was kept off the witness stand, has denied any non-consensual sex.
The trial comes more than two years after U.S. media revealed numerous allegations against Weinstein, triggering a cascade of accusations against other powerful men and the spread of the #MeToo movement.