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Final accuser at Weinstein trial gives evidence

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Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York yesterday. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York yesterday. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

REUTERS

Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York yesterday. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The final accuser at Harvey Weinstein's rape trial took the witness stand yesterday, where she is expected to detail how he groped her in a hotel bathroom as prosecutors push to show there was a pattern to how he preyed on women.

Model and actress Lauren Marie Young alleges Weinstein stripped naked, masturbated in front of her and groped her breast in the bathroom of a Beverly Hills hotel room just days before the Oscars in February 2013.

"I was excited. I got ready. I put on my best dress," Young, now 30, testified about first connecting with Weinstein at the hotel. "I was excited to network and pitch my ideas."

At some point Weinstein said: "Let's finish this conversation upstairs," explaining he had to present an award to Quentin Tarantino. Young's testimony was interrupted by a lunch break before she could detail what happened next.

Young is expected to be the last of six women to testify at the trial about alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein.

The criminal charges are based on two allegations: that he raped a woman in March 2013 and forced oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006. Additional women, including Young, have been allowed to testify as prosecutors attempt to show there was a practiced method to Weinstein's attacks, including inviting women to his hotel room to discuss business, then disrobing and demanding sexual favours.

Weinstein (67) has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual.

Young's allegations involving the hotel encounter in California are partly the basis of criminal charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney on January 6, just as Weinstein's New York trial was getting under way. Weinstein is also charged with raping a different woman in that case.

Earlier yesterday, jurors heard from a former front desk manager who checked Weinstein into a midtown Manhattan hotel where he is alleged to have raped a different women in March 2013.

The testimony was meant to corroborate the woman's claim Weinstein bullied his way into the hotel over her objections. "Usually couples checking in are in a happy mood," Rothschild Capulong said, adding he was so concerned about Weinstein's behaviour he made a note that security might want to check his room.

Irish Independent