Wednesday, 03 June, 2020

Harvey Weinstein guilty over sexual assaults



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Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of two counts in his sexual assault trial.

He has been convicted on lesser charges of third-degree rape and a criminal sexual act in the first degree.

But Weinstein, 67, has been acquitted of the most serious charges against him – of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape.

He still faces charges in Los Angeles of rape and sexual assault of two women in 2013.

More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades.

He could have been looking at a potential life sentence if he had been convicted of predatory sexual assault, but he still faces up to 25 years in prison.

  • How the Harvey Weinstein scandal unfolded

The jury of seven men and five women reached their verdict on Monday morning, the fifth day of deliberations.

Weinstein entered court before the verdict wearing a navy blue suit and leaning on a walking frame.

The case was at the centre of the #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men.

Weinstein shot to fame with critically acclaimed films such as Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love.

He had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress.

Ms Haleyi, who had worked on one of Weinstein’s television productions, said she was assaulted by the producer after he invited her to his Lower Manhattan home.

She testified that he backed her into a bedroom, held her down on the bed and forced himself on her.

Ms Mann said that she found herself in an “extremely degrading” relationship with him that did not involve intercourse until he raped her in 2013.

She said he was a “Jekyll and Hyde” figure who could be charming in public but showed his dark side when they were alone.

Another one of Weinstein’s accusers, Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, told jurors he raped her in her apartment one night in 1993 or 1994.

Her allegation was too old to be charged as a separate crime, but prosecutors used it in an attempt to demonstrate that the accused was a repeat sexual offender.



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