Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of Sexual Assault and Rape

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault and third-degree rape while being acquitted on other charges.

Harvey Weinstein
Photo: Getty

Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein can now also be described in print as a convicted rapist. The fallen Hollywood mogul was found guilty Monday by a jury of his peers of committing a “criminal sexual act” and third-degree rape, even as he was acquitted on the two most severe charges of predatory sexual assault.

Facing a maximum prison sentence of 25 years, Weinstein was convicted on the charge of sexually assaulting Miriam Haley in his Soho apartment on July 10, 2006; he was further convicted of third-degree rape on the charge of assaulting Jessica Mann, an aspiring actress who he attacked at a DoubleTree hotel in New York City on March 13, 2013.

However, the jury found Weinstein not guilty on two charges of predatory sexual assault. These were apparently the charges that forced them to deliberate past Friday and put the trial on pause over the weekend. Each of these charges included a maximum penalty of life in prison. Yet even though Weinstein was found guilty of third-degree rape of Mann, he was acquitted on the first-degree charge of assaulting her, suggesting the jury believes that Weinstein did not use (or could not be proven of using) “forcible compulsion” when he assaulted her. Additionally, the jury found Weinstein not guilty—at least beyond a reasonable doubt—on the charge of raping and assaulting actress Annabella Sciorra in her Gramercy apartment in the 1990s.

Nonetheless, Weinstein is a convicted rapist who is, as of press time, behind bars. Judge James Burke ordered him to be taken into custody while he awaits sentencing on March 11. This occurred despite defense attorney Donna Rotunno requesting Weinstein remain out on bail pending sentencing.

Ad – content continues below

“He is currently taking shots in the eyes so he does not go blind,” Rotunno said, suggesting Weinstein still requires serious medical attention after an unsuccessful surgery on his back. Burke denied bail.

This verdict comes as the latest chapter in Weinstein’s precarious fall after a lifetime of alleged heinous behavior came to light. Once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Weinstein is alleged to have used that position to prey on scores of women in the industry. It was the bombshell accounts of sexual harassment and worse in October 2017 that sparked the #MeToo fire that is helping reshape the culture. The New York Times first broke accounts of Weinstein sexually harassing women, including Ashley Judd. Ronan Farrow’s subsequent New Yorker exposé which revealed 13 different women had accounts of sexual assault, including several, such as Lucia Evans and Asia Argento, publicly accusing Weinstein of rape.

It would be the beginning of the end of his movie empire as dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of a visible pattern of behavior that often involved “massages,” watching him bathe, and many accounts of assault.

All of which has now culminated in a 12-day trial where 28 witnesses told the jury they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein in his apartment or hotel suites in New York City and Beverly Hills.

It appears likely that Weinstein’s defense will pursue an appeal. Until then, he’ll await sentencing in jail while facing between five and 29 years in prison for his two convictions.

Meanwhile, Farrow has reported on Twitter, “Los Angeles prosecutors are moving forward with their separate case against Weinstein—which could include a more expansive group of witnesses and lead to greater sentencing exposure. Paul Thompson, the LA Deputy District Attorney, tells me: ‘We are definitely proceeding.'”