Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault, rape

Entertainment Desk
25 February 2020, Tue
Published: 08:40 Updated: 02:26

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault, rape

Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday of rape and sexual assault but acquitted of the most serious predatory charges, a verdict hailed as a historic victory by the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

The 67-year-old was remanded in New York's notorious Rikers Island jail after the jury of seven men and five women found the once-powerful Hollywood producer guilty of criminal sexual acts in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

Oscar-winner Weinstein, whose films included "Shakespeare In Love," was found not guilty of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault, charges that could have seen him jailed for life.

But he faces up to 29 years in prison on the two felony convictions.

The ashen-faced defendant, who attended the trial hunched over a walker, showed little emotion after the verdict was delivered to a packed New York courtroom. He was taken into custody pending sentencing, which was scheduled for March 11.

The mixed verdict offered a large measure of vindication for the dozens of women who made allegations against him.

It was the most high-profile sex assault conviction in the United States since Bill Cosby was found guilty in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman 15 years prior.

The Time's Up foundation, formed in the wake of the Weinstein case, celebrated the outcome as marking "a new era of justice."

"Abusers everywhere and the powerful forces that protect them should be on notice: There's no going back," it said in a statement.

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct since allegations against him ignited a global reckoning against men abusing positions of power in October 2017.

The predatory sexual assault charges included testimony from "The Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein raped her in her New York apartment in the winter of 1993-94.

Six women took the stand to say they had been sexually assaulted by Weinstein. Source: AFP