Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of Rape in Los Angeles Trial—What’s Next?

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul whose sex crimes helped spark the #MeToo movement, has been found guilty of rape in his Los Angeles trial. During the weeks-long trial, eight women testified that Weinstein either raped or sexually assaulted them—four alleged that these incidents occurred between 2004 and 2013, the other four women’s claims did not result in formal charges. Prosecutors called 44 witnesses to the stand. Weinstein, who pleaded not guilty to all seven charges, didn’t testify. 

He was convicted on three of seven charges—forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and penetration by a foreign object—against Jane Doe 1, a model and actor who testified that Weinstein assaulted her in a Beverly Hills hotel room in February 2013. “Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013,” she said in a statement released through her attorney. “I will never get that back. The criminal trial was brutal. Weinstein’s lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand. But I knew I had to see this through the end, and I did… I hope Harvey Weinstein never sees the outside of a prison cell during his lifetime.”

Weinstein was acquitted of one count of sexual battery by restraint against a massage therapist at a hotel room in 2010. And the jury, consisting of nine men and three women, was hung on three counts made by two accusers, leading the judge to declare a mistrial on them. After nine days of deliberations, the jury voted to convict Weinstein 10–2 on charges related to Jane Doe 2 and 8–4 on charges related to Jane Doe 4, who identified herself as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentarian and first partner to California governor Gavin Newsom. 

Siebel Newsom, who was labeled a “bimbo” by Weinstein’s attorneys, alleged that Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in 2005. “Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs,” she said in a statement after the verdict. “Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors. This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do.”

In his own statement, the governor said: “I am so incredibly proud of my wife and all the brave women who came forward to share their truth and uplift countless survivors who cannot. Their strength, courage and conviction is a powerful example and inspiration to all of us. We must keep fighting to ensure that survivors are supported and that their voices are heard.”

Juda Engelmayer, a Weinstein spokesperson, said in a statement that while “Harvey is obviously disappointed” with the verdict, “he is prepared to continue fighting for his innocence.” Weinstein faces a possible 18 years in prison and will be sentenced in Los Angeles early next year. Jurors will decide on Tuesday whether any aggravating factors played a role in his crimes, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. If so, Weinstein could be sentenced up to 24 years, according to the Los Angles Times. 

Prior to the Los Angeles trial, it was still possible that Weinstein could walk free. He is currently serving a 23-year sentence in New York for sex crimes, but has been granted a hearing to challenge his conviction by New York’s Court of Appeals. However, in addition to his latest conviction, Weinstein faces criminal charges of indecent assault in London against a woman in 1996, as reported by NPR

Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascón said a decision has not been reached about whether to retry Weinstein on the jury’s deadlocked charges. “I want to thank the survivors in this case, who exhibited extraordinary bravery in a case that put them in the national spotlight,” he said in a post-verdict statement. “Reporting sexual assault is never easy. Subjecting oneself to at times brutal cross-examination can be re-traumatizing and extraordinarily painful.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *