After standing trial for sexually assaulting two women, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape. He now could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Harvey Weinstein learned his fate on Monday, Feb. 24. After a three-week trial in the Manhattan Supreme Court over charges of raping a woman in an NYC hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006, a jury of seven men and five women came back with a verdict: guilty. After deliberating for four and a half days, the jury convicted him of predatory sexual assault and third-degree rape. On the predatory sexual assault alone, Harvey faces up to 25 years in prison. Harvey was also facing three other charges — first-degree rape and two predatory sexual assault charges — but the jury acquitted him of those. It will be still considered a victory for the prosecution, as the 67-year-old Harvey could spend the rest of his life in prison. He will at least serve 5 years, the minimum sentence for the criminal sexual act. The judge also ruled that Harvey, who was out on bail, be remanded to jail immediately.
Jessica Mann and Miriam Haley were the women who came forth to accuse Harvey. Jessica, a then-aspiring actress, accused Weinstein of trapping and raping her at a Doubletree Hotel in Midtown Manhattan in March 2013. She claimed that he offered advice for advancing her career and offered her a leading movie role, but those were false promises. Following the first alleged sexual assault, Mann claimed she maintained “the sum semblance of a relationship,” and claims she was allegedly assaulted two other times over the years. Weinstein’s lawyers argued the relationship was consensual, per CNN.
Miriam, a former production assistant, claims that he forced oral sex on her at his SoHo apartment in 2006. She was introduced to him in 2004 at the European premiere of The Aviator and later worked on a show he produced in NYC. “It was not long, though, before he was all over me making sexual advances. I told him, ‘No, no, no,’ but he insisted,” she said per CNN. “He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering. He then orally forced himself on me.” She brought these accusations to light in 2017. Weinstein’s defense team attempted to get the case dismissed in 2018. They submitted a text that he received from her in 2007 (“Hi! Just wondering if u have any news on whether harvey will have time to see me before he leaves? x Miriam”) and claimed that this indicated the relationship was consensual.
BREAKING: Jury finds Harvey Weinstein GUILTY of criminal sexual act in the first degree and third degree rape, but NOT GUILTY of rape and the most serious sex crimes of predatory sexual assault.
— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) February 24, 2020
In addition to these two women, four others — Annabella Sciorra, 59; Dawn Dunning, 40; Tarale Wulff, 43; and Lauren Young, 30 – testified in the trial, accusing Harvey of similar sexual assaults. Annabella claimed Harvey raped her inside her Gramercy Park apartment in 1993. Dawn alleged that he sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into having a three-way. Tarale alleges that he masturbated in front of her in 2005 before sexually assaulting her. Lauren also claimed that Harvey masturbated in front of her in 2012. Despite these allegations – and he has been accused of sexual assault by at least 100 women – he was only charged with the five counts because the other accusations were too old to prosecute or occurred outside of New York.