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Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein found guilty of criminal sexual assault and rape

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Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein found guilty of criminal sexual assault and rape
Harvey Weinstein is pictured arriving at Manhattan’s criminal court on Monday before jurors reached a verdict in his high-profile rape trial

Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of third degree rape and a criminal sexual act but was acquitted of being a serial sexual predator in his high profile New York trial.

The disgraced Hollywood producer was convicted by a jury on Monday of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in his apartment in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in 2013.

Weinstein was acquitted of the two most serious counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a potential life sentence. He was also found not guilty of first degree rape in relation to Mann.

He now faces up to 29 years in prison on the two charges.

Weinstein was flanked by several court security officers and did not react when the jury of seven men and five women handed down their verdict after five days of deliberations.

The disgraced Hollywood producer was handcuffed in court before being led away. He has been remanded in custody until his March 11 sentencing and will likely be held at the grim Riker’s Island prison in New York City.

READ ALSO: Rape: 21-year sentence of Unilag ex-lecturer not stiff enough — FIDA

His lawyer Donna Rutonno asked the judge for Weinstein to be placed under house arrest instead of prison due to his medical conditions. When the judge denied the request, Weinstein’s lawyer asked for him to be held in the prison’s medical unit.

Outside of court, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance praised jurors for their verdict and said Weinstein was finally being held accountable.

He praised the six accusers and the female prosecutor in the case as women who ‘pulled our justice system into the 21st century by declaring that rape is rape and sexual assault is sexual assault no matter what’.

‘Rape is rape whether it’s committed by a stranger in a dark alley or by an intimate partner in a working relationship. It’s rape whether it’s committed by an indigent person or by a man of power, prestige, and privilege,’ he said.

‘Rape is rape whether the survivor report within an hour, year or perhaps never. It’s rape despite the complicated dynamics of power and consent after an assault. It’ rape even if there is no physical evidence and even if it happened a long time ago.

‘This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America I believe and this is a new day.’

The district attorney abhorred Weinstein as a ‘vicious, serial sexual predator’ who ‘used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence’ victims.

Vance said the DA’s office wasn’t disappointed that Weinstein was acquitted of three of the charges he faced.

‘I am certainly not dissatisfied by the verdict. I think this was a very difficult case, a very challenging case and a case that really moved our understanding of what sexual assault is, where it can occur…’ he said.

‘By no means am I disappointed with the jury’s unanimous statement that Harvey Weinstein is guilty of sexual assault and rape.’

In total, Weinstein was charged with five counts including first and third degree rape for Mann and a criminal sexual act for Haleyi’s forcibly oral sex allegation. He was also charged with predatory sexual assault for both women.

The predatory sexual assault charge, which is the most serious, incorporated Sopranos actress Anabella Sciorra’s allegation that she was raped by Weinstein in the mid-1990s.

Sciorra’s allegation was too old to be charged on its own because of the statute of limitations, but jurors had to consider it as the basis of the two counts of predatory sexual assault.

To convict Weinstein of that charge, jurors had to agree on two things: That Weinstein raped Sciorra and that he committed one of the other charged offenses related to Mann or Haleyi.

The verdict means that the jury did not believe Sciorra’s testimony.

Weinstein found guilty on two of five charges in NY rape trial.
Daily Mail

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