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Harvey Weinstein guilty of sexual assault, rape

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault by a New York jury on Monday but acquitted on the most serious charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein, 67, was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi…

Harvey Weinstein guilty of sexual assault, rape

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault by a New York jury on Monday but acquitted on the most serious charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein, 67, was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.
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He faces up to 25 years in prison on the sexual assault conviction. He was immediately put in handcuffs and taken into custody. 
The jury acquitted Weinstein on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a potential life sentence, and first-degree rape.
The case was a milestone for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men, as well as support other survivors of sexual assault. Women and others called the conviction a “landmark” verdict online. 

Weinstein assaulted women across cities, continents, decades; many of whom we never heard from. The reality is that we only got a glimpse of the lives he destroyed. May all of those who spoke out, and all of those who suffered in silence, know that they are heard. #MeToo
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) February 24, 2020

During his trial, Weinstein often appeared feeble, entering the courthouse using a walker. He sometimes leaned on his lead lawyer, Donna Rotunno, for support.
“He’s taken some good acting tips,” actress Rose McGowan said at the start of the trial on January 6 while staging a protest near the courthouse along with actress Rosanna Arquette and other Weinstein accusers.
More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades. He had denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.
Paul Callan, a former New York prosecutor who is not involved in the case, said Weinstein had strong grounds to argue the verdict should be overturned on appeal because of bias, noting that one of the jurors was the author of a forthcoming book on teenage girls and “predatory” older men.

Harvey Weinstein sits at the defence table reading papers during jury deliberations in his sexual assault trial in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York [Jane Rosenberg/Reuters]

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During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Weinstein as a serial predator who had manipulated women with promises to open doors in Hollywood, coaxing them to hotel rooms or private apartments and then overpowering and violently attacking them.
“The man seated right there was not just a titan in Hollywood, he was a rapist,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast said during opening arguments.
Seated at the defence table, Weinstein often appeared impassive, though at times he looked intently at his lawyers when they cross-examined his accusers.
‘Jekyll and Hyde’
During the many weeks of trial, the prosecution methodically elicited graphic testimony from several accusers, including Haleyi, who said Weinstein invited her to his SoHo home after she had worked on one of his television productions.
After she arrived, Weinstein backed her into a bedroom, held her down on the bed and forced himself on her orally, yanking out her tampon, Haleyi told jurors.
Mann said that soon after meeting Weinstein she entered into an “extremely degrading” relationship with him that never included intercourse until, she alleged, he raped her.
She described Weinstein as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character: He was charming in public but often showed terrifying anger when they were alone, she said.
At one point, she started sobbing uncontrollably on the stand, prompting the judge to end testimony early for the day.
‘Prior bad acts’
Weinstein was charged with assaulting Haleyi and the other woman, but prosecutors bolstered their case by calling several other accusers as witnesses.
One of these women, The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, told jurors Weinstein came into her apartment one night in 1993 or 1994 and raped her.
Though the accusation was too old to be charged as a separate crime, prosecutors offered it to show Weinstein was a repeat sexual offender.

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