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Harvey Weinstein Guilty Of Rape And Criminal Sexual Assault

Harvey Weinstein Guilty Of Rape And Criminal Sexual Assault

  • Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault in New York, the first conviction to emerge from the dozens of misconduct allegations against the once-powerful movie producer.
Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty Of Rape

Harvey Weinstein was guilty of two of the five counts against him at his watershed sexual-assault trial in a Manhattan court on Monday (Feb. 24).

The movie mogul was found guilty of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree but not guilty on charges of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape after nearly 30 hours over five days of jury deliberation.

The Miramax co-creator, who had been free on bond during the trial, was handcuffed and ordered held without bail pending his March 11 sentencing by Judge James Burke.

“Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was in the courtroom for the verdict.

“These women were not just brave, they were heroic,” Vance said of the accusers. 

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The first-degree criminal sexual act conviction stems from allegations by former Project Runway production assistant Haley that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at his Soho apartment in 2006. The guilty verdict could see the Miramax co-creator face up to 25 years in prison, with a minimum of four years.

The third-degree rape count, based on a 2013 rape allegation by Weinstein’s former hairstylist and aspiring actress Mann, could bring up to four years in prison, though probation on that count is possible. A third-degree rape conviction means the jury found Weinstein guilty of sexual intercourse without consent.

The New York jury found Weinstein not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault, apparently dismissing or deadlocking on a rape allegation made by actress Annabella Sciorra. In order to convict on the predatory counts, the jury had to find that Weinstein was guilty in the cases of Mann and/or Haley, plus Sciorra.

If the jury had unanimously agreed on either count of the predatory charges, Weinstein could have been sentenced to life in prison.

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Weinstein’s defense argued that his relationships with Mann and Haleyi were entirely consensual. In her closing remarks, defense attorney Donna Rotunno, who has made a career out of defending men accused of sexual misconduct, launched vicious personal attacks against the six women who testified, accusing them of being driven by the desire for fame and money. Weinstein did not testify during the trial.

Weinstein also faces criminal charges in Los Angeles, where prosecutors last month accused him of raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second woman over a two-day period in 2013.

Harvey Weinstein, for years, was one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, having backed a long string of financially successful and critically acclaimed movies such as “Shakespeare in Love” and “Gangs of New York.”

His career and film production company collapsed in October 2017 after The New Yorker and The New York Times published exposes of his alleged serial sexual abuse of women, a number of whom were well-known actresses, launching the global #MeToo movement.

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