Harvey Weinstein found guilty on 2 counts, not guilty on more serious charges
Kuzma/iStock(NEW YORK) — The jury reached a verdict in the New York rape trial of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced former Hollywood mega-producer.
Weinstein, 67, was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and of rape in the third degree. He was found not guilty of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault and of rape in the first degree.
The judge in the case remanded Weinstein into custody without bail, against his attorneys’ request. Attorney Donna Rotunno said in court Monday she was requesting “house arrest,” citing “letters from his doctor,” as he “was found not guilty of the most serious charges he was charged with.” Weinstein had been using a walker throughout the trial.
March 11 was suggested by the judge for sentencing.
The criminal sexual assault charge came from Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi, who was a production assistant and said that he assaulted her in 2006. That charge came with sentencing guidelines of five to 25 years.
The charge of rape in the third degree came from another, unnamed accuser, and came with sentencing guidelines of probation up to four years.
Cy Vance, the district attorney of Manhattan, said at a press conference that the case — and the women who testified against Weinstein — “pulled our justice system into the 21st century.”
“Rape is rape whether it’s committed by a stranger in a dark alley or a domestic partner in a working relationship,” Vance said, adding they he owes “an immense debt” to the women who “had the courage beyond measure” to testify.
Weinstein was charged with raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman, who has since identified herself as Haleyi, in 2006. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims any sexual encounters were consensual.
In addition to the two women behind those charges, four others testified in support of prosecutors’ efforts to demonstrate a pattern of sexual predation.
Prosecutors were attempting to convict him on two predatory sexual assault counts, both of which carried possible sentences of 10 years to life. Ronan Farrow, one of the journalists who reported on the extensive allegations against Weinstein, told “Good Morning America” in January that prosecutors were taking a “big risk” by seeking those charges.
“It is difficult this element of proving not only the charges at issue but also a course of conduct, a pattern — sets a very high goal. It’s atypical,” Farrow said, adding that it’s not a “slam-dunk” case. “More often, you’d see something like a prior conviction being the predicate that establishes the pattern. Here, they have to prove brand new additional fact patterns.”
Heading into Monday, the jurors had deliberated for 16 hours, including about four hours of testimony being read back.
The jury had indicated some trouble in coming to a decision, which included days of deliberation. On Friday, they had asked the judge if they could “be hung on [counts] 1 and or 3” — the predatory charges — “and unanimous on the other charges.”
In total, 28 witnesses were called, including seven witnesses called by defense and two experts.
“While it is disappointing that today’s outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve, Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator,” the Silence Breakers, a group of people who have accused Weinstein of assaults, said in a statement Monday. “This conviction would not be possible without the testimony of the courageous women and the many women who have spoken out.”
Me Too, a movement founded in 2006, said in a statement, “We would do well to ask ourselves how many of these women’s names we can actually remember, beyond the boldface few? Certainly, Harvey’s name will be seared in our collective memories, but many of the survivors will be quietly taking stock of the impact.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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