Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of Rape in New York Trial
The jury found the producer guilty on two out of five potential charges.
Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty on two of five potential criminal charges in his New York trial. He was convicted Monday (Feb. 24) of criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree.
The jury, which consisted of seven men and five women, deliberated for five days before reaching their decision about Weinstein’s fate. He will be sentenced at a later date, and he faces between five and 25 years in prison.
The disgraced former movie producer, 67, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault based on testimony from Miriam Haley that he forced oral sex on her in 2006 and from Jessica Mann that she was raped by Weinstein in 2013.
Haley, a former production assistant, told the court that Weinstein forced her onto a bed on July 10, 2006, pinning her down by her arms and forcing himself on her orally. She testified that she “felt very trapped” and eventually stopped trying to fight him off because “I figured it was pointless.”
Mann testified that she had “non-forcible” sex with Weinstein on multiple occasions but that he raped her in 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in New York. She also recalled a later incident in Los Angeles at the Peninsula Hotel where, after she informed Weinstein that she had begun dating an actor, he became enraged, screamed “you owe me one more time” and ripped off her pants “so hard and so fast off of me that I had three scratches down each leg to the top of my thighs to right above my knee.”
She alleges that he then forcibly performed oral sex on her and raped her.
“I couldn’t breathe he was so heavy on me,” Mann said during her testimony. “I just remember looking at the TV and staring at it.”
Four other women also testified about being sexually assaulted by Weinstein during the trial. Actress Annabella Sciorra testified that she was raped by Weinstein in the winter of 1993-1994; her allegations are outside the statute of limitations, but as CNN reports, they can be used to “support the predatory sexual assault charges, which requires serious sex crimes against at least two victims.”
Less than one hour into their deliberation on Tuesday, the jury sent questions to the judge asking for clarification as to why there are no stand-alone charges related to Sciorra’s allegations. They were told by the judge not to consider any charges not before them and reminded that in order to find Weinstein guilty of the two predatory sexual assault charges, they must find that Weinstein is guilty of raping or assaulting both Mann and Sciorra, and/or Haley and Sciorra.
Prior to the jury’s deliberation, Weinstein’s defense attorney Donna Rotunno was ordered to refrain from communicating to the public or the press about the case until a verdict was returned after she penned an op-ed for Newsweek asking jurors to “do what they know is right” with their verdict. “I would caution you about the tentacles of your public relation juggernaut,” Manhattan Supreme Court Judge James Burke told Rotunno.
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi called Rotunno’s op-ed “completely 100 percent inappropriate behavior,” adding that “It borders on tampering with the jury … If this is the conduct that is allowed to persist in this courthouse, judge, then we are all lost.”
Weinstein also faces separate charges of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles.
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