Harvey Weinstein, the well-known movie mogul, finally received the jury’s verdict in his New York court case, in which he was accused of rape and other sexual crimes.
Weinstein was facing a total of five charges, as laid out by the AP:
- Two counts of predatory sexual assault
- One count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape
- One count of criminal sex act
The jury returned their verdict on Monday, after sending a note to the judge on Friday, saying they were deadlocked on more than one charge. The judge urged them to continue deliberating, and on Monday they concluded that Weinstein was guilty on two of the five charges: third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act.
Weinstein was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs, and he will remain in jail until his sentencing, which is currently set for March 11th.
During Weinstein’s New York case, he could be seen showing up to court, using a walker. One of his defense lawyers, Donna Rotunno, claimed that his health is getting worse; according to NPR, Rotunno said that Weinstein is still recovering from an “unsuccessful back surgery” and that he is currently “receiving shots in his eyes so he does not go blind.”
The defense brought these health concerns up with the judge, hoping that it would prevent Weinstein from having to be jailed. A NPR article says that the judge did not agree with not jailing Weinstein, but he was willing to make sure he was “housed in an infirmary unit.”
This case in New York was the result of the recent #MeToo movement, which encouraged women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed by men in power and authority to come forward with their stories. The movement helped uncover multiple victims of Harvey Weinstein, but it also led to stories about many other famous men being exposed, which included accusations made against Matt Lauer, Les Moonves, R. Kelly, and many others. (Glamour Magazine has a comprehensive list here.)
Some victims were disappointed that Weinstein was acquitted on the more serious charges, but others are looking at the guilty verdict on two charges as a victory, not just for Weinstein’s victims, but for sexual assault victims all across the country.
The creator of the #MeToo hashtag and movement, Tarana Burke, issued a statement following the verdict on Monday: “Today, a jury confirmed what we all know: Harvey Weinstein committed sexual assault. This jury worked with an incredibly narrow and unjust set of laws governing sexual assault, and though he was not convicted on all counts, Harvey Weinstein will have to answer for his crimes.”
According to an article by USA Today, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said on Monday that Weinstein will probably face a sentence anywhere from five to twenty-five years, but we will not know his fate for a few more weeks. There’s also a chance that Weinstein’s age (67) and overall health will be a factor in his sentencing.
Although this case in New York has come to an end, Weinstein still faces an ongoing court case in Los Angeles, where he has been charged with four counts of sexual assault.