Split verdict for Harvey Weinstein: The ousted former Hollywood producer was found guilty Monday of rape and two sexual assaults at the end of his trial in Los Angeles, only half of the charges he was indicted on.
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After two weeks of deliberation, jurors found him guilty of all charges brought by the first of the four accusers. They declared him innocent with respect to those of a second woman, and they did not issue a verdict regarding the complaints of the other two.
The 70-year-old former ‘king’ of cinema, who produced award-winning hits like pulp fiction Where The artist, He is already serving a 23-year prison sentence after his conviction in New York in 2020 for similar acts. After the Los Angeles verdict, he faces up to 24 more years behind bars.
The press investigations that revealed the first accusations in 2017 provoked #I also, global movement for the liberation of women’s voices on sexual and gender-based violence.
“Harvey Weinstein destroyed a part of me forever,” the first victim reacted in a press release on Monday, to which the jury gave full reason. Anonymous like the other four plaintiffs, he hoped that he would “never in his life see the outside of a prison cell.”
During this new trial, these four women accused the producer in full detail of forcing them to have sex in hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013. A fifth finally refused to testify.
After weeks of grueling hearings, often punctuated by sobs from the plaintiffs, the prosecution described Weinstein as an all-powerful ogre, a “predator” whose stranglehold on Hollywood (the films he produced received more than 330 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes) has long prevented his victims from speaking out, fearing the repercussions on their careers.
Dressed in a gray suit, the former movie giant buried his head in his hands as the sentences were handed down.
Los Angeles prosecutor George Gascon lamented the jurors’ half-hearted decision.
“Of course, I am disappointed that the jury was divided on some of the charges, but I hope that their partial verdict brings at least some justice to the victims,” he reacted in a press release.
Call New York
The verdict of this new trial in Los Angeles was especially important for the former producer. Because after an initial denial of justice, the New York Supreme Court finally authorized him, in August, to appeal his 2020 conviction, an initial decision that had been a major victory for the movement. #I also.
Combative, his defense systematically questioned the word of the four accusers during the trial and insisted on the lack of material evidence and forensic elements.
He had in particular framed Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who revealed her identity during the trial.
According to the defense, he had a consensual relationship in exchange for favors in Hollywood, which he later regretted and turned into accusations, navigating the spate of revelations directed at Weinstein at the start of the movement. #I also in 2017.
An argument that sowed doubts in the juries: Mto me Siebel Newsom is one of two women for whom a verdict has not been rendered.
“We the Survivors”
In a press release, the actress focused on the partial conviction handed down on Monday.
“Harvey Weinstein will never rape another woman again,” he said. “He will spend the rest of his life where he deserves, behind bars.”
However, Jennifer Siebel Newsom pointed to the “tactics of sexism, misogyny and harassment” employed by Weinstein’s lawyers to “ridicule us, the survivors.”
“This trial has been a powerful reminder of the work we still have to do as a society,” he said.
In all, nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette, have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault or rape. But the statute of limitations has been exceeded in many of these cases, some dating back to 1977.
The former producer is also charged in the United Kingdom for sexual assaults dating back to 1996.
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