February 25, 2020
Harvey Weinstein—formerly a large and in-charge Hollywood film producer—was found guilty on two counts on Monday morning, February 24, in his New York sexual assault trial.
Specifically, the jury convicted Weinstein of two of the five charges against him: a criminal sexual act and third-degree rape, according to a report by The Hill. The 67-year-old former movie mogul has denied any wrongdoing, saying all of his sexual encounters were consensual—however, he did not testify on his own behalf.
The verdict brings to a close the high-profile New York case—during which prosecutors had characterized him as a “sexual predator” and a serial “rapist.” Indeed, during her opening arguments last month, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast said that evidence in Weinstein’s case would show he was “not just a titan of Hollywood but a rapist.”
Jurors heard emotional testimony, including from actress Annabella Sciorra, who told the court that Weinstein raped her after shoving his way into her Manhattan apartment. “I was trying to get him off me,” Sciorra testified. “I was punching him, kicking him.”
According to The Hill, another witness who accused the former film executive of rape became so emotional during an hours-long cross-examination by Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno that she was dismissed for the day by the judge.
The sexual assault allegations, first brought against Weinstein in 2017—followed by a flurry of public accusations of sexual misconduct against many in the entertainment industry— helped to spur the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and to shine a spotlight on systemic sexual harassment.
Last year, Weinstein reportedly reached a $44 million settlement with some of his accusers.
Weinstein was remanded to custody by New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke pending sentencing on Wednesday, March 11. Rotunno made an unsuccessful last-ditch plea to keep her client free on bail due, in part, to his ill health and pain as a result of an auto accident last summer, but the judge did not grant the request.
The erstwhile Miramax titan could face up to 25 years in prison, with a minimum of four years.
What’s more, the legal peril isn’t over for Weinstein, who has also been indicted for alleged sexual misconduct in Los Angeles.
Research contact: @thehill