Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape by a Los Angeles court, almost three years after the disgraced movie mogul was sentenced for sex crimes in New York City. Weinstein was found guilty of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault. This comes five years after dozens of women spoke out against Weinstein and galvanized the #MeToo movement.
A West Coast jury of nine men and three women delivered the verdict on Monday after being unable to agree on several counts, including those raised by the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who said Weinstein had raped her in 2005.
Found Guilty at Last
The jury found Weinstein, 70, guilty of three counts of rape and sexual assault against one woman, a European model and actor who testified under the alias "Jane Doe 1," an unidentified Russian-born, Italy-based model, after more than nine days of deliberation.
The jury, however, claimed that it was unable to decide on several counts, including those raised by the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom accusations as well as another involving model Lauren Young, who was referred to as Jane Doe 2 during the trial, leading the jury to declare a mistrial on those charges.
"Throughout the trial, Weinstein's lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors," Siebel Newsom said in a statement after the verdict. "This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do."
The disgraced movie magnet, whose misdeeds gave rise to the #MeToo movement, was also exonerated of a sexual battery accusation brought forth by Jane Doe 3, a massage therapist who treated Weinstein at a hotel in 2010.
During the two-month trial, it was revealed that Weinstein had enticed women into private meetings with him before sexually abusing them.
The 70-year-old Oscar winner could spend up to 24 years behind bars when he is sentenced.
More Jail Time Awaiting
Weinstein, who was one of the top film producers during his reign in Hollywood, is already serving 23 years in jail after being found guilty of rape and sexual assault at his first trial in New York two years ago.
In response to Weinstein's defense team's claim that the woman's allegation was entirely false, they displayed to the jury screenshots of her happy social media posts from the days after the alleged incident.
"The criminal trial was brutal and Weinstein's lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand, but I knew I had to see this through to the end, and I did," Jane Doe 1 said in a statement after the verdict.
"Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013 and I will never get that back," she said.
Overall, the case involved five allegations of sexual assault made by the four women for incidents that happened in LA county between 2004 and 2013, including two counts of forcible rape involving Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Newsom, and an unnamed Russian model who claimed Weinstein showed up uninvited at her hotel room door during a Los Angeles film festival in 2013.
Weinstein had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which could have seen his current sentence swell by as much as 65 years. He will likely receive a sentence of 24 years in prison following today's verdicts.
During the trial, Siebel Newsom provided some of the most moving testimony. Siebel Newsom, who was at that time a young actress and producer still trying to make it in the profession, testified that Weinstein assaulted and raped her in 2005 during what she believed to be a business meeting in a hotel.
Weinstein's defense aggressively cross-examined Siebel Newsom when she was testifying, portraying her as someone who had engaged in consensual sex to boost her career and branding her a "bimbo." Siebel Newsom wept frequently on the stand and called the alleged attack "her worst nightmare."
The prosecution portrayed Weinstein as a "predator" who engaged in a pattern of pressure and manipulation to capture his target throughout the course of the trial. During closing arguments, Marlene Martinez, a lawyer in the case, stated that hotels were the predator's trap.
She drew attention to trends in the women's testimonies, which related how Weinstein approached and attacked the women. Martinez claimed that Weinstein's accusers were following their Hollywood dreams, but "at the end of that dream was the monster at the end of that table".
As the weeks passed, Weinstein, who declined to testify, became paler and shrunken while seated in court. He looked to bury his head in his hands on Monday when the first guilty verdicts were announced.
However, Alan Jackson, the defendant's defense counsel, urged the jury not to be misled by the #MeToo movement during his closing statements and said that the testimony of eight different women had not established beyond a reasonable doubt that he had committed any crime.