Quick TLDR summary:
- Harvey Weinstein, the former film producer, was found guilty of rape in a Los Angeles court on Monday.
- The verdict follows Weinstein’s 23-year prison sentence in New York in February 2020.
- The Los Angeles court’s jury, which comprised eight men and four women, deliberated for nine hours over almost two weeks.
- Weinstein was found guilty of rape, oral copulation, and sexual misconduct in relation to one of the women pressing charges referred to as Jane Doe 1.
The #MeToo movement has recorded yet another win, thanks to Monday’s guilty verdict of Harvey Weinstein. The disgraced former film producer was found guilty of rape in another sexual assault charge in a Los Angeles court. Weinstein is already serving a 23-year jail term after being convicted on February 24, 2020, in New York.
Almost three years into his sentencing, Weinstein has again been found guilty of rape in the L. A court trial that ended on Monday. The court’s jury comprised eight men and four women who deliberated for nine hours over almost two weeks.
According to the AP report, an already convicted Weinstein was found guilty of rape, oral copulation, and sexual misconduct. These charges relate to the case against one of the women who pressed charges, referred to in the case as Jane Doe 1.
It was a joyous victory for all women directly involved and those motivated and always encouraged to speak out. The court has to listen to over 49 witnesses who took the stand to defend the allegations of these four women. Lauren Young was also part of the four women from his New York trial. For Young, it was more than personal as she accused Weinstein of not only groping her in a hotel bathroom in 2013 but also masturbating in front of her.
Judge Declares Mistrial for Other Charges Against Harvey Weinstein
Although the 70-year-old former film producer was found guilty of charges filed by Jane Doe 1, the presiding judge had to declare a mistrial for other charges when the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on the other charges. A notable example of those charges was the one filed by the California governor’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
The 12-person jury also found Harvey Weinstein not guilty in a case of sexual battery filed by another woman. Lauren Young’s charges have also been declared a mistrial as the jury was unable to prove without any reasonable doubt that it wasn’t consensual.
If it’s any consolation for the disgraced film producer, he has had the 11 charges significantly reduced. According to a report by CBS Los Angeles, Weinstein was looking at a 65-year jail sentence if found guilty of all charges. With four fewer charges to worry about, the report now puts his sentencing to around 24 years. This, in no way, is satisfying for the already 70-year-old with about 20 years left on his New York jail sentence.
Like his New York appeal filing, we can expect Harvey Weinstein and his team of lawyers to file an appeal against this L.A judgment. With his New York appeal surviving the first appeal, Weinstein’s New York sexual charges would now be determined by the highest court in the state.
A Win for the #MeToo Movement
These past months had seen several high-profile sexual trials and convictions turned on their head. The #MeToo movement would need this win as a morale booster for the cause. In the past months, the movement has had to deal with Bill Cosby’s Pennsylvania conviction overturned, Kevin Spacey’s not guilty win against a filed sexual battery charge, as well as Danny Masterson’s court case ending as a mistrial.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez, who is the Prosecutor, made a remarkable closing argument for the jury. She told the court that Weinstein had a predatory pattern of behavior. In her words, Martinez said,
“Who would suspect that such an entertainment industry titan would be a degenerate rapist? For this predator, hotels were his trap. Confined within those walls victims were not able to run from his hulking mass. People were not able to hear their screams; they were not able to see them cower.”
In all of these, Harvey Weinstein continued to plead not guilty. His defense team, headed by Defense Attorney Alan Jackson, tried to make a convincing statement in his closing argument. Jackson stated,
“Regret is not rape. ‘Believe us because we’re mad; believe us because we cried.’ Well, fury does not make fact. And tears do not make truth.”
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