Two more women took the witness stand in New York on Wednesday, weeping as they described unwanted sexual encounters with Harvey Weinstein in 2004 and 2005.
Dawn Dunning and Tarale Wulff are two of three "prior bad acts" witnesses called in to support prosecutors' efforts to demonstrate a pattern by Weinstein of grooming and then sexually assaulting women looking for work in Hollywood.
In the most devastating testimony against Harvey Weinstein to date, a woman who claims the disgraced movie mogul raped her in 2013 painted a grotesque picture of Weinstein as angry, controlling and manipulative, but acknowledged under cross examination that she maintained a consensual sexual relationship with him before and after the 2013 incident.
The defense's first witness in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial took the stand late on Thursday to challenge actress Annabella Sciorra's account of being raped by the disgraced producer and stumbled memorably through a cross-examination when a series of texts he sent to Weinstein were read aloud in court to the witness' surprise.
"Listen," the agitated witness explained at one point. "I'm learning a lot now and I had no idea that my text messages would end up in a courtroom."
"Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra took the witness stand on Thursday at Harvey Weinstein's criminal trial and testified in wrenching detail about the night nearly 30 years ago that she said the disgraced Hollywood producer violently raped her at her apartment.
Sciorra's testimony is the first and among the most highly anticipated at a pivotal moment in the #MeToo movement as Weinstein faces rape and sexual assault charges in New York.
Experts in sexual assault and victims' advocates say that the use of so-called “prior bad acts” witnesses – women with credible sexual assault claims against a defendant which fall outside the statute of limitations for prosecution – are an increasingly vital tool for prosecutors at a time when the #MeToo movement is drawing forth long-delayed reports of sex abuse.
Yet critics contend these witnesses can serve to tilt the case unfairly against the defendant and subvert the spirit of the law.
Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault trial, which begins Monday in New York City, has already seen more backstage drama, intrigue, infighting and cast changes than the Hollywood legal thriller that it could very well become one day.
New technology driven by artificial intelligence (AI) is helping prison wardens and sheriffs around the country crack unsolved crimes and thwart everything from violence and drug smuggling to attempted suicides -- in near real time, in some cases -- through digitally mass-monitoring millions of phone calls inside the nation’s sprawling prison and jail systems.
A long line of well-heeled, would-be presidents have sought the White House, banking on their money overcoming a lack of name recognition or raw experience in retail politics, and fallen short -- at times spectacularly.
But Steyer, a billionaire and Democratic mega-donor, could become the first to test whether President Donald Trump’s electoral success in 2016 has changed that calculus.
In a wide-ranging interview with ABC News which touched far more on the personal than the political, Steyer spoke at length about his faith, his fortune, his quirks and his passions.
The U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service program has reached what critics describe as an acute crisis point marked by a recent rash of suicides, psychotic episodes, a murder-suicide, a bomb plot, devastating health problems and a pervasive sense of dread and depression among the ranks of the most elite cadre of marksmen and women in the nation, according to a month-long ABC News investigation into the secretive federal agency.
A skeptical panel of appellate judges peppered Cosby's attorneys with challenges to their arguments, while barely interrupting a pair of prosecutors during oral arguments in Cosby's appeal.
State law bars uncharged criminal accusations from trials, but prosecutors convinced a judge of an underlying pattern of "prior bad acts." Cosby has had dozens of sex assault allegations made against him recently.
The strategy is also being tested elsewhere. A New York judge is deciding whether to allow additional accusers to testify to uncharged crimes against Harvey Weinstein.
When Jeffrey Epstein was born in January 1953 to working class parents living in a rented, second-floor apartment on Maple Avenue on New York City's Coney Island, no one could have predicted the extraordinary heights of wealth to which he would climb as a Wall Street money manager.
Nor could anyone have predicted the depths to which he would plunge from that privileged perch.
The #MeToo movement has unearthed numerous, shocking allegations about the abuse of women by powerful men, but no case to date has surfaced such a damning set of allegations as those now leveled against Epstein.
Prosecutors in Nantucket on Wednesday dropped a felony sexual assault charge against the actor Kevin Spacey, after watching their case against the actor slowly fall apart under scrutiny from Spacey's defense team during months of contentious pre-trial hearings that unfolded in the resort island's lone courtroom.
The criminal case against Spacey appeared to be plagued nearly from the start by one stunning revelation after another about missteps by the case investigators, the prosecutors and the alleged victim's relatives and civil attorney.
Three years to the day after a boozy encounter in a New England summer resort bar, the young man who has accused actor Kevin Spacey of felony sexual assault that night appeared publicly for the first time and testified in a Nantucket courtroom on Monday.
Partway through his testimony he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Spacey's accuser confirmed under questioning from the actor's lead defense attorney that he did not report the alleged assault to police for 15 months, rather than the three months prosecutors have been contending since filing charges in January.
Confounding new twist in sex assault case against Kevin Spacey, as accuser files civil lawsuit against the actor
The key witness in the criminal sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey filed a civil lawsuit against the actor on Wednesday, injecting fresh intrigue into a case already fraught with more mysteries than clues.
The civil filing caps a whirlwind month in which a key piece of evidence went missing and the judge in the case ordered the accuser's family to appear in court after the Fourth of July holiday weekend to explain its disappearance.
Spacey accuser could be forced to testify next month after key piece of evidence in case goes missing
The man who has accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault could be ordered to take the witness stand next month in a pre-trial hearing, after the court learned this week that a key piece of evidence -- the cell phone he was using to text friends about his alleged encounter with Spacey in a Nantucket bar in July 2016 -- is missing, according to newly-filed documents in the case.