Harvey Weinstein Found ‘Guilty’ on Charges of Criminal Sex Act Involving Assault and Third Degree Rape

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Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on several charges including assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi and third-degree rape of a woman in 2013; he could be sentenced up to 25 years in prison. More than 90 women, including famous actresses, accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, assault and rape. Weinstein was  arrested in May 2018 following a series of articles by Ronan Farrow. In addition to his sexual crimes, Weinstein hired Kroll and Black Cube, an Israeli spy agency staffed by former Mossad agents, and allegedly tried to silence and intimidate his accusers and journalists from exposing his misdeeds. The Weinstein Co. went bankrupt. A tentative settlement awarding $25 million to Weinstein’s alleged victims has been reached to resolve nearly all lawsuits stemming from the scandal. However, Weinstein would not have to admit any wrongdoing or personally pay anything as the studio’s insurance companies would cover the cost.

Following the verdict, Weinstein was taken to Bellevue Hospital, complaining of chest pains.

Weinstein will be sentenced in New York on March 11, and then he will face a new trial in Los Angeles for allegations of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents in February 2013.

Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday at his sexual assault trial, sealing his dizzying fall from powerful Hollywood studio boss to archvillain of the #MeToo movement.

He was found guilty of criminal sex act for assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006 and third-degree rape of a woman in 2013. The jury found him not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, that could have resulted in a life sentence.

The verdict followed weeks of often harrowing and excruciatingly graphic testimony from a string of accusers who told of rapes, forced oral sex, groping, masturbation, lewd propositions and that’s-Hollywood excuses from Weinstein about how the casting couch works.

The conviction was seen as a long-overdue reckoning for Weinstein after years of whispers about his behavior turned into a torrent of accusations in 2017 that destroyed his career and gave rise to #MeToo, the global movement to encourage women to come forward and hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct.

The jury of seven men and five women took five days to find him guilty.

The case against the once-feared producer was essentially built on three allegations: that he raped an aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013, that he forcibly performed oral sex on Haleyi and that he raped and forcibly performed oral sex on “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra in her apartment in the mid-1990s.

Three additional women who said they, too, were attacked by Weinstein also testified as part of an effort by prosecutors to show a pattern of brutish behavior on his part.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sex crimes unless they grant permission, as Haleyi and Sciorra did.

Jurors signaled their struggles with the Sciorra charges four days into deliberations. On Friday, after reviewing sections of her testimony and related evidence, they sent a note to the judge indicating they were deadlocked on the counts but had reached a unanimous verdict on the others. After some debate in the courtroom, the judge ordered jurors to keep deliberating.

While Weinstein did not testify, his lawyers contended that any sexual contact was consensual and that his accusers went to bed with him to advance their careers.

The defense seized on the fact that two of the women central to the case stayed in contact with Weinstein through warm and even flirty emails — and had sex with him — well after he supposedly attacked them.

The hard-charging and phenomenally successful movie executive helped bring to the screen such Oscar winners as “Good Will Hunting,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love” and nurtured the careers of celebrated filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith.

Weinstein now faces charges in Los Angeles. In that case, announced just as the New York trial was getting under way on Jan. 6, authorities allege Weinstein raped one woman and sexually assaulted another on back-to-back nights during Oscars week in 2013. One of those women testified as a supporting witness at the New York trial.

The trial was the first criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations against Weinstein from more than 90 women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman. Most of those cases were too old to prosecute.

During the trial, Weinstein regularly trudged into the courthouse stooped and unshaven, using a walker after recently undergoing back surgery — a far cry from the way he was depicted in court as a burly, intimidating figure whose eyes seemed to turn black with menace when his anger flared.

Many of Weinstein’s accusers described him as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who could be incredibly charming at first, making jokes and showing interest in using his immense power to help their careers.

But that was an act, they said, meant to gain their trust and get them to a place — often a hotel room or an apartment — where he could violate them.

Read full article here…

From the NY Times….

A Timeline of the Weinstein Case:
The authorities investigated Harvey Weinstein in 2015. He was indicted three years later, after a flood of public complaints.

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