Guilty Of Rape: Los Angeles jurors deliberated for nine days and decided Monday that Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault against one of his four victims.
Harvey Weinstein Was Convicted Guilty Of Rape
Five years after he became a magnet for the #MeToo movement, the three guilty counts involving an Italian actor and model identified at trial as Jane Doe 1 inflicted a severe blow against the disgraced movie tycoon.
When he is sentenced in California, Weinstein, 70, who is already two years into a 23-year term for a rape and sexual assault conviction in New York that is under appeal, faces a maximum of 24 years in jail.
After the lady said he showed up unannounced at her hotel room door at the Los Angeles film festival in 2013, he was arrested and convicted guilty of rape, forced oral copulation, and another count of sexual misconduct.
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That night in 2013 when Harvey Weinstein shattered a piece of me that would never be restored. “I felt I had to see this through to the end, and I did,” the lady said in a statement following the judgement. The criminal trial was horrible and Weinstein’s attorneys put me through hell on the witness stand. I pray that Harvey Weinstein spends the rest of his life behind bars.
In 2010, a massage therapist who had treated Weinstein at a hotel accused him of sexual abuse. He was found not guilty of the charges.
A California jury deadlocked on all counts after hearing testimony from both accusers, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of the state’s governor. The trial on such charges was declared a mistrial.
When the first set of guilty counts was read, Weinstein appeared to bury his head in his hands and stare at the table. He anticipated the remaining portions of the decision with anticipation.
Both the prosecution and defence team were silent following the verdict.
Never again will Harvey Weinstein be able to abuse a woman. “He will spend the rest of his life in prison, where he belongs,” Siebel Newsom added. The survivors were intimidated, degraded, and mocked by Weinstein’s legal team, who engaged in sexism, misogyny, and bullying throughout the trial. The trial served as a sobering reminder that we, as a community, still have much to accomplish.
The most dramatic parts of the trial were during Siebel Newsom’s evidence, in which she claimed being raped by Weinstein in a hotel room in 2005. Only eight of the twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict of guilt on the two counts against Weinstein.
The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on a sexual battery count involving Lauren Young, the sole complainant to testify against Weinstein in both trials. She said that she was meeting with Weinstein in 2013 to discuss a script when he cornered her in a hotel toilet, touched her, and masturbated in front of her.
The case relied mainly on the testimonies and reliability of the four women at the core of the charges due to the lack of forensic evidence and eyewitness statements of years-old claims.
The women’s accounts were consistent with the claims of hundreds of others who have come forward since the New York Times began publishing articles on Weinstein as a #MeToo lightning rod in 2017. During the trial, a film called “She Said” was published detailing that reporting, and jurors were strongly discouraged from watching it.
The defence brought up #MeToo throughout the trial, pointing out that none of the four women reported Weinstein to the police before the movement made him a target.
The women who accused Weinstein of rape were discredited by his defence team, who claimed that two of the women (including the one who would be found guilty) were lying about their interactions with him. They claimed that the other two had sexual encounters that were “100% consenting,” but they later redefined this term.
The defence argued that Siebel Newsom would have been “just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to go ahead in Hollywood” if she hadn’t gone on to achieve fame in the future.
Alan Jackson, a lawyer for Weinstein, said that “regret is not the same thing as rape” in his final statement.
He asked the jury to disregard the women’s emotional statements and consider the evidence presented instead.
BREAKING: Jurors have found Harvey Weinstein guilty of of rape at a Los Angeles trial in the latest moment of #MeToo reckoning.
Weinstein will now have a California prison sentence added to the more than 20 years he has left to serve in New York. https://t.co/Q3QBTXx9FA
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 19, 2022
According to Jackson, the witnesses were pleading with the jury to “believe us because we’re upset, believe us because we wept.” To which she said, “Well, anger does not constitute fact. As well as the fact that “tears do not equal truth.”
There were another lady named Jane Doe who appeared in court. The AP does not normally identify victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly or agree to be identified through their attorneys, as did the ladies in this case.
Forty more witnesses were summoned by the prosecution in an effort to shed light on the circumstances and corroborate the statements made by the first witnesses. Four other women testified that Weinstein sexually attacked or raped them, but they were not named in the accusations. In order to prove a pattern of sexual predation, they were called to testify.
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When prosecutors announced that the woman who accused Weinstein of rape and sexual assault on two separate occasions would not testify at trial, the four other felony allegations against him were immediately dropped. They did not provide an explanation. Prosecutor’s accusations were dropped by Judge Lisa Lench.
After suffering several legal losses, notably the rejection of Bill Cosby’s conviction last year, victims of sexual assault by renowned men should celebrate Weinstein’s recent conviction as a success. Concurrent with Weinstein’s trial, and in the same courtroom, the rape trial of “That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson resulted in a mistrial. Even Kevin Spacey’s civil trial for sexual violence in New York last month ended with a victory for the actor.
New York’s top court will hear Weinstein’s appeal next year after his conviction was upheld on a lower court’s review. Because his conviction in California is also likely to be challenged, he will not be released even if the one from the East Coast is overturned.
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