More than three years after sexual abuse charges were levelled against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, a New York Jury found him guilty on two counts of rape and sexual assault, on Monday. However, the jury did not find him guilty for predatory sexual assault, carrying a possible life sentence.

Weinstein who came under fire during the #MeToo movement was charged with sexual assault on former production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006 and third-degree rape of former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

Around 80 women including Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek had levelled charges of sexual misconduct against Weinstein. He has been sent to prison on Riker's Island where he will await his sentencing scheduled on March 11.

It was in October 2017 when media started reporting the allegations against Weinstein. Initially, he issued a public apology for causing a lot of pain, he challenged the allegations levelled against him. A criminal investigation started a few months later in 2017 by New York authorities. Weinstein turned himself to the police in May 2018 and placed under arrest.

Detailed account of the charges against Weinstein

harvey weinstein

Apart from Mann and Haley, four other women also opened about suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Shakespeare in Love producer. Mann had accused Weinstein of raping her in a Midtown hotel in Manhattan in 2013. The jury termed the rape as third degree.

Weinstein's former production assistant Haley had accused him of forcibly performing oral sex on her at his home in 2006. The two separate charges filed under predatory sexual assault included the testimony of other women including actress Annabella Sciorra, model Lauren Young.

During their testimony they supported that they forged ties with the producer after the assault. However, as the sexual assaults took place a long time back, they could not be covered under New York's statutes. However, Young had filed sexual assault charges against Weinstein in California too where, unlike the New York statutes, he is still liable for a trial. If found guilty, Weinstein faces imprisonment up to 28 years.

In his defence, Weinstein's lawyer Donna Rotunno stressed that the sexual encounters were consensual and not forced. "Every single one of these women reaches out and asks for things and he does anything he can," she told the members of the jury.

The 'Silence Breakers' react to the verdict

jessica mann

The women who came out in the open against Weinstein were nicknamed 'Silence Breakers'. Actress Mira Sorvino, a member of the group said: "The era of impunity for powerful men who rape people is over. I don't think you can understand if you haven't been through this and haven't gone public how immensely difficult and life-changing it is to bring out some of the worst memories in your life into the public eye and become the fodder for debate, for gossip, even for pity."

Maintaining that even though she was incredibly grateful to the jury for convicting Weinstein on two counts, Actress Caitlin Dulany said that she disappointed that he escaped the charges of predatory sexual assault. "What those women went through on the stand broke my heart and I'm so happy today that the jury believed them, and I have a renewed sense of faith that women will be believed when they come forward," she added.

Actress Rose McGowan, one of the earliest Weinstein accuser told BBC: "The little girl I was when I was hurt, she's ecstatic...This is a great day. The trash has been taken out. The fact that we are white women and attractive and of some means and it still took this many of us to even get him to have one day in court - just tells you...how almost impossible it is to even be heard, period, let alone [get] any kind of conviction."

Expressing gratitude towards the women who came out against Weinstein, actresses Ashley Judd, Lucia Evans and Rosanna Arquette and 19 other Weinstein accusers, called the verdict "disappointing that today's outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve."

Here are the reactions over the verdict: