Variety

Two years after #MeToo testimonies, Harvey Weinstein jailed for rape, sexual assault

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 25, 2020 Published on February 25, 2020

Film producer Harvey Weinstein is handcuffed after his guilty verdict in his sexual assault trial in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, on Monday, in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS   -  REUTERS

Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer, has been found guilty of raping a woman and sexually assaulting another woman. A jury on Monday convicted Weinstein and the next proceeding on his sentence is scheduled for March 11. However, he was acquitted of the two most serious charges of predatory sexual assault that could have led him to serve life imprisonment, Mirror UK reported.

The jury convicted him after hearing the harrowing accounts of six women. The trial went on for six weeks and the judges took four days to pass the judgement. The victims testified how Weinstein used his power and influence to coerce them into non-consensual sexual encounters, according to media reports.

#MeToo furor

Weinstein’s case came to light after his name got tossed in the infamous #metoo wave. The NewYork Times, in October 2017, published a detailed account of a woman narrating the horrors she went through while working with the renowned producer. In the same month, the NY Times published allegations from 13 more women, that opened the floodgates for other victims of sexual assault to share their story under the hashtag, BBC reported.

The charges against Weinstein were based on the allegations of two of those women: Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann. Haley was assaulted in 2006 on a movie set. Mann, an aspiring actress, was molested by Weinstein in Manhattan in 2013. The two charges were backed by actor Annabella Sciorra’s testimony where she stated that Weinstein raped her in the ‘90s, BBC report added.

Prosecutors had also called three other women to testify — Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Marie Young — to establish a pattern in his predatory behaviour over the years.

The jury convicted Weinstein of a criminal sexual act in the first degree for forcibly performing oral sex on Haley and of third-degree rape in relation to Mann's rape allegations. Weinstein was facing five charges. However, as per the structure of the charges, he could only be convicted of two charges at the most, Buzzfeed News reported.

The judge ordered the incarceration of Weinstein until his sentencing next month. Weinstein was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom to Rikers Island jail in NewYork, according to media reports.

Published on February 25, 2020
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