Los Angeles jurors found Harvey Weinstein guilty Monday of the rape of one accuser and sexual assault after a monthlong trial.
The three charges against Jane Doe 1, an Italian model and actor, were a significant blow to the movie mogul. It also provided another #MeToo moment, five years after Jane Doe became a key figure in the movement’s growth.
Weinstein (70), is currently in a two-year term for a New York rape conviction and sexual assault conviction. The appeal is ongoing. Weinstein could spend up to 24 Years in California prison when he is sentenced.
The jury found him guilty of forced oral copulation, rape and other sexual misconduct charges relating to the woman who claimed he showed up uninvited at her Los Angeles hotel room during an annual film festival.
Harvey Weinstein permanently destroyed a portion of my life that night in 2013. I won’t ever get it back. Weinstein’s attorneys made me suffer on the witness stand during the criminal trial. But I was determined to persevere through the proceedings, which I did.” The woman stated in a statement following the verdict. I hope Weinstein will never be able to see the outside of his prison cell in his life.”
Weinstein was cleared of sexual battery allegations made in 2010 by a masseuse who had treated him in a hotel.
Two counts were not decided by the jury. These included rape and sexual assault allegations against Jennifer Siebel Newsom (documentary filmmaker, wife of California Governor). Gavin Newsom. These counts were misrepresented and a mistrial was ordered.
Weinstein looked at the table, and seemed to be putting his face into his hands as the first guilty charges were read. As the remainder of the verdict was read, Weinstein looked ahead.
“Harvey was clearly disappointed by the verdict. Weinstein’s spokesperson Juda Englemayer stated in an email that he knows the facts and can appeal against his convictions. He is thankful for the work of the jury on other charges and will continue to pursue his legal battles in proving his innocence.
George Gascon, Los Angeles County District Attorney applauded accusers’ bravery in testifying in this case. He stated that he regretted the split verdict and hoped the outcome would bring “some measure justice for the victims”.
“Harvey Weinstein won’t be allowed to rape any other woman.” Siebel Newsom stated in a statement that Weinstein will spend his entire life behind bars. Weinstein’s attorneys used bullying techniques to humiliate, degrade, and mock survivors throughout the trial. It was an ominous reminder of the work that society has to do.
The trial’s most memorable moments were capped by Siebel Newsom’s dramatic and intense testimony. She described Weinstein raping her in a hotel bedroom in 2005. Only eight jurors found Weinstein guilty.
The jury was deadlocked at 10-2 over a sexual battery charge involving Lauren Young. Young was the sole accuser to testify in both Weinstein trials. According to her, she claimed that Lauren Young was a model who wanted to become an actor and screenwriter. In 2013, Weinstein raped and groped her while they were meeting about writing a script.
The case was largely based on the credibility and stories of the women in the middle of the allegations.
These women’s stories echo the accusations of many others since Weinstein was made a #MeToo lightning rod in 2017 with New York Times stories. During the trial, a movie called “She Said” was made about this reporting. Jurors were warned repeatedly not to view it.
The defense made #MeToo an issue at the trial. However, it stressed that the women did not go to authorities until Weinstein was made a target.
Two of the two women, including one who he was found guilty of rape, were allegedly lying to defense lawyers about what they saw with Weinstein. The defense lawyers claimed that the two other women had “100% consensual,” sexual interactions, which they later reframed.
The defense attorneys claimed that Siebel Newsom would have been “just another bimbo who slept alongside Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood” if she hadn’t become so famous.
Alan Jackson, Weinstein’s attorney said that “Regret does not equal rape” in his closing argument.
He encouraged jurors not to focus solely on emotional evidence and to ignore the testimony of the women.
Jackson stated that jurors would be asked to believe Jackson because they were mad and because Jackson cried. Fury doesn’t make truth. Tears are not truth.
Jane Doe represented all the accused women in this case. Unless someone comes forward or they agree through their lawyers, the Associated Press doesn’t usually name anyone who claims they were sexually abused.
In an effort to provide context and support for these stories, the prosecution called forty additional witnesses. There were four other women, who weren’t charged but gave evidence that Weinstein had raped and sexually assaulted their bodies. The women were called to testify that Weinstein had raped or sexually assaulted them in the past.
Weinstein was able to beat four other felonies before his trial ended. Prosecutors claimed that a woman who had been charged with sexual assault and rape twice wouldn’t appear at the hearing. The prosecutors declined to provide a reason. These charges were dismissed by Judge Lisa Lench.
Weinstein’s most recent conviction is a win for victims of the sexual misconduct of well-known men. This conviction comes after some legal hurdles including the disqualification of Bill Cosby’s last year conviction. Weinstein was also present at the mistrial in his rape case against Danny Masterson (from “That’s ’70s”). This trial took place just next to Weinstein’s. Kevin Spacey won a civil sexual battery trial in New York.
Weinstein was convicted in New York, and the appeal failed. However, the highest court of the state will hear the case next year. He will be appealing the California conviction.