Harvey Weinstein once considered the “king of Hollywood”, has been convicted of sexual assault and rape.

In October 2017, several women accused Oscar-winning Harvey Weinstein (67) of sexual assault, bribery as well as making deals to keep accusations discreet. Over the years more victims garnered the courage to speak out about incidents of harassment, rape and sexual assault by Weinstein. In a statement, he admitted his behaviour “caused a lot of pain” however, refuted all sexual accusations against him.

Women continued presenting affairs concerning influential individuals in the entertainment industry bringing to life the #MeToo movement. This resulted in police opening up an investigation against former producer Harvey Weinstein that occurred in California; New York, and London which led to his arrest.

During the first day of the trial, prosecutors in Los Angeles publicised new charges against Weinstein that included rape and sexual battery in 2013. Victims; actress Jessica Mann and production assistant Mimi Haleyi (Mirriam Haley) provided the jury with explicit details over the four-week trial. Haleyi claimed he sexually assaulted her at his residence in 2006 while Mann accused him of raping her. Prosecutors called in another witness, actress Annabella Sciorra, who alleges Weinstein had raped her at her residence in the early 1990s. Many of Weinstein’s victims that made accusations and were part of a civil proceeding toward him and his companies attended the trial that day.

Although obsolete due to timing, Sciorra’s statement provided the jury with the information needed to prove Weinstein’s pattern of behaviour. This supported the claims by other victims and proved claims of predatory sexual assault. This was made possible under the “Molineux Rule” in New York where witnesses can attest to “prior bad acts.” An additional three unnamed victims also provided the jury with evidence concerning their incidents, however, Weinstein and his defence team opposed the allegations and said all occurrences were consensual.

Prosecutors highlighted Mann and Sciorra’s testimonies that respectively stated: “His eyes changed and he was not there. They were very black and he ripped me up” and: “His eyes went black, and I thought he was going to hit me right there”. The parallel statements highlighted how Weinstein used the same strategies on all his victims. After more than eighty allegations of sexual assault, Harvey Weinstein indicted of five charges relating to sexual assault, of which two cases related to predatory sexual assault and rape.

Weinstein’s defence subpoenaed Thomas Richards, a former agent of Jessica Mann, who allegedly had breakfast with Mann and Weinstein after he raped her in a Manhattan Hotel one morning in March 2013. He told the jury that the dynamic between the two seemed “friendly”. When asked if he was testifying in aid of Weinstein he replied: “Not at all”. A former friend of Mann, Talita Maia, mentioned that Mann never showed any signs of agony after the claimed attack on her.

During the interrogation by Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, Mr Richards declared that he had been drinking before the day in question, resulting in an unclear recollection of the event that transpired. Weinstein’s legal team closed saying the accusations were merely “regret named as rape” and that the prosecution attempted painting a “sinister tale”.

Testaments from six individuals that accused Weinstein of sexual assault resulted in the prosecution resting its case. Weinstein pleaded not guilty to the rape and sexual assault claims against him and vowed that all the aforementioned sexual encounters were consensual. The jury, however, disagreed, and Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault relating to Mimi Haleyi in 2016 and third-degree rape of Jessica Mann in 2013. However, he was found not guilty on the most severe charge of predatory sexual assault that could have granted him a life sentence in prison.

“Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man; he knows that we will continue to fight for him, and we know that this is not over” said Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno. “When the verdict came in Mr Weinstein was shocked but stoic at the same time. He didn’t react emotionally, there was no crying or anything like that. All he kept saying over and over again was: “I’m innocent, I’m innocent, how could this happen in America?” “And look, the evidence was not so powerful. Jurors do not usually deliberate for five days or whatever it is, it wasn’t that there was such overpowering evidence, like in many of these cases in the courthouse where the jury goes in and comes out after lunch and convicts” added his defence lawyer in an interview.

Weinstein will remain in custody until March 11 for sentencing however he was admitted to Bellevue Hospital instead, due to apparent chest pains.

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