Monday, June 5, 2023

Los Angeles court finds Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape

The jailed former Hollywood kingpin faces a new 24-year sentence for raping an Italian woman in Los Angeles in 2013.

Disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of two counts of rape and sexual assault against an Italian actress and model – known as Jane Doe 1 – by a jury in Los Angeles, California.

After a month-long trial and nine days of deliberations, the three guilty count on Monday marked the second conviction of the Hollywood kingmaker who became the infamous face of the #MeToo movement in the United States when five men were convicted of sexual assault. The allegations surfaced. Many years ago. The jury on Monday also acquitted the 70-year-old or could not decide on the counts of the three other accused.

Weinstein is already serving a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted of sex crimes by a New York City court.

“Harvey Weinstein destroyed a part of me forever that night in 2013 and I will never get that back,” Jane Doe 1 said in a statement released shortly after Monday’s verdict.

“The criminal trial was brutal and Weinstein’s lawyers put me through hell as a witness, but I knew I had to see it through to the end, and I did. I hope Weinstein never walks out of a prison cell in his lifetime.” Can’t see outside,” she said.

Weinstein could face up to 18 years in prison on the counts he was convicted of, but aggravating factors could extend that to 24 years.

Lawyers will return to the court on Tuesday to make arguments related to aggravating factors.

‘Sexism, misogyny and intimidation tactics’

The charges Weinstein was acquitted of on Monday included a sexual allegation made by a massage therapist who treated him at a hotel in 2010. Jurors were also unable to reach a verdict on the two other accused, specifically the charges of rape and sexual assault. Jennifer Seibel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman again. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs,” Siebel Newsom said in a statement.

“Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s attorneys used sexism, misogyny, and intimidation tactics to intimidate, belittle, and ridicule us survivors. The test was a clear reminder that we as a society have work to do,” she said.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said he was “disappointed” that the jury was divided on some counts.

But, he said he hoped “its partial verdict would bring at least some degree of justice to the victims”.

During five weeks of testimony in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusers including Seibel Newsom said Weinstein had treated them to business meetings. During often graphic testimony, the women alleged that the powerful producer of “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love” masturbated in front of them and groped or raped them.

Prosecutors also called 40 other witnesses in an effort to provide context and corroborate those stories.

There were four other women who were not part of the allegations but testified that Weinstein raped or sexually assaulted them. She said he promised help in securing an audition or a book deal, then set up meetings where employees disappeared and left her alone with them.

Weinstein said all of his sexual relations were consensual and pleaded not guilty.

Weinstein was first convicted of sexual misconduct in February 2020 in New York City. He was extradited from New York City to a Los Angeles prison in July 2021.

Weinstein is appealing his conviction and prison sentence in New York City.

Times of National
Times of National
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