The prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein’s New York sexual assault trial called the movie mogul a “sexual predator” and “rapist” in their opening remarks on Wednesday.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast argued that evidence in Weinstein’s case will show he was “not just a titan of Hollywood but a rapist,” NBC News reported. Three women are expected to testify, although only two form the basis of the criminal charges.
"Finally, after all these years, these three women will have their voices heard," Hast said.
Weinstein, 67, reportedly looked straight ahead during Hast’s statements and turned to the jurors when the most graphic allegations were described.
The assistant district attorney described how the movie mogul tried to “lure” the women before he forced himself on them. She went into detail about “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra’s alleged rape, although her allegations were ruled too old to support charges.
"It took 25 years until she could relive the nightmare and tell her story," Hast said. "Harvey Weinstein remained a bigger figure in Hollywood, with power and connections to silence Annabella."
Overall, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape, and their accusations helped sparked the "Me Too" movement in 2017.
Weinstein has denied the allegations, claiming that all his sexual relations were consensual. One of his defense attorneys, Damon Cheronis, described the prosecutors’ statement as a “mirage,” adding that “what you heard is not true,” according to the network.
Cheronis also cited “friendly” and “loving” emails exchanged between Weinstein and the alleged victims, including after the alleged assaults.