Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday of sexual assault and rape but cleared of the most serious predatory sexual assault charges.
The jury of seven men and five women found the producer guilty of criminal sexual acts in the first degree and rape in the third degree, a partial victory for the #MeToo movement that considered the case a watershed moment.
The 67-year-old was found not guilty however of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault charges that could have seen him jailed for life.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 24, 2020
The verdict marks 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 ago.
The decision was announced in a packed New York courtroom where some 100 people had gathered. The defendant, who attended the trial hunched over a walker, was shielded from view by police officers.
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct since allegations against him ignited the #MeToo global reckoning against men abusing positions of power in October 2017.
But the jury was considering charges related to just two: ex-actress Jessica Mann and former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, with many claims too old to prosecute.
One of the predatory sexual assault charges also 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 from the opening of testimony on January 22, to say they had been sexually assaulted by Weinstein.
Weinstein’s team subjected the women to ferocious cross-examination, as they argued that his relationships were consensual and transactional. The prosecution presented no forensic evidence or third-party witness accounts. The state’s case rested on asking the jury to believe the women.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk