Harvey Weinstein believed he was so powerful he could get away with denigrating aspiring actresses drawn into a world where the Hollywood big shot considered them "complete disposables", a prosecutor told a jury in closing arguments Friday at his New York City rape trial.
"Moreover, he felt like he had a surefire insurance policy that the witnesses were standing in line to get into his universe", the prosecutor said, adding, "the universe is run by me and therefore they don't get to complain when they're stepped on, spit on, demoralized and raped and abused by the defendant".
Jurors heard from four other women, including actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Mr Weinstein came into her apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and raped her.
In a vivid, three-hour closing argument, New York Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi told jurors that day had arrived.
"They were never in his world, they were never going to be strong enough, bold enough or fearless enough to tell".
Ms Mann testified that Mr Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan hotel room early in what she called an "extremely degrading" relationship with him. With the click of a button, the rape accuser's testimony popped up: "His eyes changed and he was not there. They were very black".More news: LeBron, Giannis choose teams for NBA All-Star Game
The charges relate to two central accusers: the woman who alleges she was raped, who the Guardian is not naming as she has not indicated that she wishes to be publicly identified, and Haley.
Those alleged crimes were either too old to prosecute or happened outside the jurisdiction of the Manhattan district attorney's office, but the allegations of one of the women, Lauren Young, about an assault that she said occurred in a Beverly Hills hotel, led prosecutors to file charges against Weinstein in Southern California.
The prosecution's final argument was created to undercut the seeds of doubt painstakingly planted by Weinstein's attorneys over three weeks of testimony.
Prosecutors created an "alternate universe" that "strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility", Rotunno argued. "Regret does not exist in this world, only regret renamed as rape", Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno argued.
Ms Rotunno suggested that Ms Haley, 42, was looking to make money from her accusations, pointing out that she had hired famed womens' rights lawyer Gloria Allred.
"By going to Harvey Weinstein's home, did she deserve what she got?" But she the way she's doing it, and her pure commitment to keeping up the line of blaming the women for "allowing" themselves into these situations, is just bad.More news: 'Lucifer': Talks Underway For Another Season On Netflix
But victims of sexual assault are viewed differently than those of other crimes, she said, and are often blamed with putting themselves in such situations.
The prosecution's task has been complicated because the women he is charged with assaulting did not abandon him after the alleged encounters.
"In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they expect, the jobs they hope to obtain", Rotunno said in court, according to Variety.
Under cross-examination, Mann and Haleyi acknowledged at least one consensual sexual encounter with Weinstein after the alleged assaults.
The disgraced movie mogul, 67, faces life in prison if convicted of predatory sexual assault charges in the high-profile trial that marks a watershed moment in the #MeToo global reckoning against men abusing positions of power.
Case in point, she said: In October 2017, Weinstein replied to an email from a publicist giving him a heads up that Sciorra was about to go public in a Ronan Farrow story by writing: "Annabella did cop land".More news: Samsung launches its second foldabe, the Galaxy Z Flip, for $1,380