Weinstein defense points to ‘loving emails’ as openings near

Harvey Weinstein, center, leaves court for the day with his attorneys and Donna Rotunno, right, and Damon Cheronis, second from right, during jury selection in his trial on rape and sexual assault charges, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in New York. Jury selection continues Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers want to use intimate emails from his accusers to try to convince jurors in his rape trial that any contact was consensual.

The lawyers said so Tuesday as an appeals court rejected their 11th-hour effort to move the trial out of town.

Opening statements are set for Wednesday in one of the most prominent cases of the #MeToo era.

The once-powerful movie producer is charged with raping a woman in in 2013 and forcibly performing a sex act on another in 2006.

Defense lawyer Damon Cheronis says there are “dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails to Mr. Weinstein” that his defense wants to use to discredit witnesses.

Appeals court rejects Weinstein bid to move trial out of NYC

An appeals court turned down Harvey Weinstein’s bid to get his rape trial moved out of New York City on the eve of opening statements.

A panel of state appellate judges said no, without elaborating, in a brief ruling Tuesday. Openings are set for Wednesday in a Manhattan courtroom.

Weinstein’s lawyers have argued it’s impossible for the disgraced movie mogul to get a fair trial in New York City, where they say he is being subjected to a “media and entertainment circus” that could influence jurors.

Prosecutors said the publicity surrounding Weinstein extends far beyond New York City, and they noted that the chosen jurors indicated they could be fair and impartial.

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