Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sex act. He will remain in jail until he is sentenced next month.
The 67-year-old producer was found guilty on the two counts by a jury in Manhattan on Monday morning (24.02.20), as part of his sexual assault trial which saw him face five charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sex act.
According to Page Six, Weinstein is set to be sentenced for the two guilty verdicts on March 11 and has been ordered by the judge in his case to be held behind bars until his sentencing date.
On Monday, the jury – made up of seven men and five women – found Weinstein guilty of two charges on the fifth day of deliberations, following a lengthy trial that began in January.
Weinstein was found not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, which could have led the Hollywood producer receiving a life sentence.
The charges of which he was found guilty were in relation to allegations made by two women. Weinstein had been accused of raping one woman in a New York hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006.
In her closing statement, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi had branded Weinstein an “abusive rapist” and a “predator”, adding: “When Harvey Weinstein met the witnesses, he looked quite different than he does today. ‘They were scared. They felt isolated and they were alone.”
In her closing statement, Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s attorney, challenged the jurors to have the “courage” to “make the right decision, no matter how unpopular you might be when you get back to work or your home”.
Rotunno also claimed the prosecutors had created an “alternate universe” where “women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel room invitations and the plane tickets they accept”.
She added: “In this script, the powerful man is the villain, and he’s so powerful and large that no woman would want to sleep with him.”
The verdict is considered to be a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement which was sparked by the expose published about Weinstein’s sexual misconduct by The New York Times in October 2017.
Meanwhile, Weinstein’s legal team is already planning to appeal the verdict.
Weinstein’s lead attorney Donna Rotunno told The Hollywood Reporter: “Obviously, this is a bittersweet day. We are disappointed. We knew we came in and we were down 35-0 on the day that we started this trial.
“The jurors came in knowing everything they could know about this case. We couldn’t find a juror who had never heard of Harvey Weinstein.[We will] absolutely be appealing [the verdict]. The fight is not over.”
Rotunno also shared with the press that Weinstein was been rushed to New York’s Bellevue Hospital Monday night after feeling chest pains and having heart palpitations and high blood pressure on his way to Rikers Island.