Disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, has been found guilty of a felony sex crime and rape, but was acquitted of the most serious charge against him – predatory sexual assault. Weinstein showed no emotion when the verdict was read out to him at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday, February 24.
The trial for rape and sexual assault began in late January. Six women testified against Weinstein during the trial. The jury found Weinstein guilty of a criminal sex act in the first degree. This pertains to an incident in 2006 when Weinstein forced oral sex on former Project Runway production assistant, Miriam Haley.
This count could carry a prison term of 5 years and a maximum of 25 years.
Weinstein was also convicted of rape in the third degree for raping a woman in a hotel in New York in 2013. The maximum sentence is four years in prison. While there is no minimum sentence for this charge, Weinstein will be registered as a sex offender.
He was acquitted of the three most serious charges against him: two counts of predatory sexual assault and another count of rape. Weinstein would have served a life sentence had the jury found him guilty on these charges.
Over 100 women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault. The women include actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.
Weinstein’s modus operandi included forcing women to massage him and watch him naked. Weinstein promised to further their career in exchange for sexual acts.
He still faces charges in Los Angeles for the rape and sexual assault of two women in 2013. His sentence will be handed down on March 11. This trial has been a watershed moment and gave birth to the #METOO Movement which has swept the globe, allowing many victims to come forward and name their rapists and abusers.