Harvey Weinstein found guilty of criminal sexual acts

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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein leaves a Manhattan courthouse during his rape trial, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Harvey Weinstein is guilty of two counts of criminal sexual acts.

Monday morning a jury in Manhattan delivered a guilty verdict that includes a felony sex crime and rape. Weinstein was previously acquitted of predatory sexual assault, which would have been the most serious charge faced by the disgraced movie mogul.

Six women testified to being sexually assaulted by Weinstein, who faced 67 charges related to only two of the women who testified.

The trial centered on accusations from two alleged victims. Miriam Haley, a former television production assistant claimed Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006. Weinstein also faced accusations from Jessica Mann, a former actress who claimed he raped her in a Manhattan hotel in 2013.

The Weinstein trial highlighted the complicated nature of the relationship between sexual predators and their survivors. Both Haley and Mann said they each continued to see Weinstein after the assaults that later led to consensual sex, which complicated the jury’s decision-making.

While the defense claimed the women participated in consensual sexual relationships with Weinstein to advance their careers, the prosecution established a pattern of predatory sexual behavior by Weinstein that included keeping the women close to him and used his elevated position as leverage for the women to submit to him.

Knowledge of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct was an open-secret in the entertainment industry for decades, but came to the center of American – and later world – news in 2017 as the #MeToo movement ignited. In October 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker broke stories on the experience of several women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Weinstein. The claims ranged from unwanted touching to sexual coercion to rape. 

Weinstein was arrested in May 2018 at the First Precinct station in Lower Manhattan after surrendering to charges of a criminal sex act and rape. Additional charges were later added and eventually thrown out included forcible oral sex and predatory sexual behavior.

As lawyers for the prosecution worked to gather more of Weinstein’s survivors to testify in Manhattan, Weinstein was indicted on charges that occurred years earlier in Los Angeles in January.

On February 18, the twelve members of the jury began deliberations pursuant to the month-long trial. 

Weinstein was taken into custody following today’s verdict where he will await sentencing until March 11. Committing a criminal sexual act comes with 5 to 25 years in prison, while third-degree rape charges carry a sentence that can range from probation to up to 4 years in prison. 

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