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Harvey Weinstein Is Found Guilty of Rape
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Summary: Fallen Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault at the New York trial on Monday.

Photo by David Shankbone

Harvey Weinstein, the once-powerful film mogul whose sexual abuse of aspiring female actors sparked the #MeToo movement, was convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York on Monday, several media outlets reported.

The New York jury of seven men and five women found the fallen titan of Hollywood guilty of two out of five counts – criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. Weinstein was cleared of the most serious charge; predatory sexual assault. 

  
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After the verdict was announced, Judge James Burke, ordered Weinstein to be held in custody until his sentencing March 11.  

Weinstein, 69 struggled to get up from his seat as he was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom.

I’m innocent, I’m innocent,Weinstein told his attorney, Arthur Aidala. Aidala said the film producer had turned to him inside the court and asked: “How could this happen in America?”  

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The convicted movie producer faces a prison term of five to 29 years. And his legal travails are not over yet.

The former Hollywood powerhouse will soon return to a criminal courtroom, this time in Los Angeles. 



In California, Weinstein faces charges from accusations made by two women; a model who says the movie mogul trapped her in a hotel bathroom and forced her to watch him masturbating while groping her and Italian model and actress who accused Weinstein of raping her in a Beverly Hills hotel. The attacks happened within a day of each other in 2013, the New York Times reported.

After listening to weeks of emotional testimony from half of the dozen women, the New York jury deliberated for five days.  

Six women took the witness stand in the rape trial to offer graphic accounts of how the disgraced mogul used his power and influence to lure them to isolated locations, where he then forced himself on them after they resisted his advances.

Weinstein was accused of five counts: two of rape, two of predatory sexual assault and one of forcible oral sex. The two main accusers — Jessica Mann, who said Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and Mimi Haley, who said he had forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006-continued communication with the movie producer after alleged attacks.

Every time I tried to get off the bed, he would push me back and hold me down,” Haley,42 testified in court while crying “At this point, I realized what was happening. I’m being raped.”

After Haley, Jessica Mann took the stand, describing the abusive relationship with the Oscar awarded producer. The once aspiring actress accused Weinstein of raping her on two separate occasions in hotels in Los Angeles and New York.

“He could lift you up to anyone he introduced you to and then behind closed doors it was … dependent on if I gave him what he wanted,” Mann said.

Mann’s testimony lasted for three days.

Three other women testified against Weinstein. Their allegations were either too old to prosecute or happened outside the jurisdiction of Manhattan prosecutors.

 The movie producer denied all charges. And the defense insisted that the accusers should not be victimized, as they were opportunists seeking connections and acting roles.

Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lawyer said her client would appeal.

 “He took it like a man. He knows that we will continue to fight for him and knows that this is not over

Meanwhile, Manhattan District. Attorney. Cyrus Vance Jr. listed the names of the prosecutors who brought Weinstein to justice: Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and Meghan Hast, as well as the six accusers who testified during the trial.

“These are eight women who pulled our justice system into the 21st century,” Vance told a crowd of reporters.

The New York District Attorney who declined to charge Mr. Weinstein in 2015 when accusations of sexual abuse first emerged against him, hailed the courage of the victims who had spoken out.

Weinstein with his manipulation, his resources, his attorneys, his publicists and his spies did everything he could to silence the survivors. But they wouldn’t be silenced, spoke from their hearts, and were heard,” he said. 

Celebrities, #metoo and #timesup supporters took to social media to reflect on the verdict, with many hailing the women who testified in the case.

For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you.#ConvictWeinstein #Guilty’ tweeted Ashley Judd, the actress who was also one of Weinstein’s accusers.

I am heartened for his victims and for all those who said #metoo and #TimesUp that some justice has been done. ‘ wrote Elizabeth Banks on Twitter.

Social advocacy group Time’s Up said in a statement.

While we celebrate this historic moment, our fight to fix the broken system that has allowed serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein to abuse women in the first place continues,” the statement said. “Abusers everywhere and the powerful forces that protect them should be on notice: There’s no going back.” 

 Weinstein faces the prospect of spending the rest of his days behind bars. 



 

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