MANHATTAN, NY 2/24/2020 11:53am(est)
Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein was acquitted on the two most serious charges in the rape case against him in New York this afternoon. Those charges were predatory sexual assault and one count of first degree rape. Weinstein however, was convicted of one count of third degree rape against former aspiring actress Jessica Mann. Weinstein was also convicted of one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree against former production assistant Mimi Haley.
NBC News (@nbcnews) reported, the jury reached their verdict after days of deliberating, once telling the judges they were deadlocked, and many notes sent to the judge asking questions about a particular aspect of the trial. Over 80 women accused Weinstein of some sort of sexual harassment or assault. The prosecution called four of those ladies to testify in this trial, including actress Annabella Sciorra, who starred in HBO’s “The Sopranos.” She alleged that Weinstein raped her in the early part of the 1990’s. The prosecution’s case attempted to paint Weinstein as a serial offender whose acts of sexual harassment and assault goes back many many years. Weinstein’s lawyers argued that the case was yet another example of the #metoo movement having run amok. The lawyers repeatedly attempted to raise doubts about the credibility and motivations of the women testifying against Weinstein.
The trial centered on Haley and Mann, both giving in-depth and sometimes very graphic accounts of Weinstein having lured them with promises to help their careers, he then forced himself on them as they attempted to fight back. Haley alleged that Weinstein “forcibly” performed oral sex on her in her Manhattan apartment in 2006. Mann said Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in 2013. She told jurors that she believed he injected something into his penis to induce an erection before he assaulted her.
The only thing left now is sentencing for Weinstein. Without convictions for the two most serious charges, the punishment for the conviction will likely be much less severe. Weinstein still has another sexual assault/rape case awaiting him in Los Angeles. In this case, he is accused of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013. The two counts alleged happened on two consecutive days that year.