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Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of Rape and Sexual Assault

on February 24, 2020, 11:52am

The trial of Harvey Weinstein has ended with a guilty verdict on two counts: criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. The charges carry a combined possible sentence of up to 28 years in prison.

The jury returned its verdict Monday morning following five days of deliberation. While Weinstein was found guilty of two of the charges he faced, the disgraced Hollywood producer was acquitted on one count of rape in the first degree and two counts of predatory sexual assault, the latter of which were the most serious charges.

The second count, criminal sexual act in the first degree, is connected to Miriam Haley, a former Project Runway assistant who testified Weinstein’s forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Manhattan apartment. Count five is the rape of Jessica Mann, an aspiring actress who recounted numerous sexual assaults during her testimony. She also detailed Weinstein’s lack of testicles and the need to use an injection to maintain an erection.

Third degree rape is defined as sexual intercourse with another person who either is incapable of consent, is less than 17 years old while the defendant is 21 or older, or is incapable of giving consent “for some other reason than incapacity to consent.” That charge brings with it a possible sentence of 18 months to four years, while the criminal sexual assault conviction carries a punishment of five to 25 years. Weinstein will be formally sentenced on March 11th.


Prior to the verdict, the jury had expressed concern they would be hung on the two predatory sexual assault charges, which would involve proving the defendant had committed first degree rape, a criminal sexual act, or aggravated sexual abuse on more than one individual. Weinstein’s lawyers said they would accept a partial verdict, while the prosecution sought responses on all charges. Judge James Burke sided with the prosecutor, sending the jury back to “continue your deliberations.” They eventually came out with acquittals on both counts.

The verdict brings the #MeToo movement into its ultimate phase: punishment for the man who’s actions started it all. While the New York case was centered on only two women, a number of the over 80 additional alleged victims were allowed to provide “prior bad acts” testimony to establish a pattern of behavior. Though the jury’s decision was only partially guilty, the fact that Weinstein will indeed be jailed for his crimes and forever labeled as “convicted rapist” is a victory.

What’s more, the trial of Harvey Weinstein is far from over. He’s still facing four charges of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles, facing another possible 28 total years. In December, former model Kaja Sokola filed an underaged sexual assault lawsuit against Weinstein after she pulled out of a tentative $25 million civil settlement with the Weinstein Company. Two other accusers, producer Alexandra Canosa and actress Wedil David, also rejected the settlement in favor of their own civil cases.

In response to the verdict in Manhattan, 23 #SilenceBreakers including Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette, Larissa Gomes, Lauren O’Connor, and Sarah Ann Masse released a joint statement via TimesUp. “This has been a flawed process from the beginning but has further exposed the difficulties women face in coming forward to tell the truth about powerful abusers,” the statement reads in part. “Their bravery will forever be remembered in history.”

Read the full thing below.