Harvey Weinstein taken straight to jail after being found guilty of third-degree rape and criminal acts in the first degree
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual acts in the first degree in New York City.
The jury was unanimous in its convictions as well as two not-guilty verdicts on predatory sexual assault charges involving actress Annabella Sciorra.
The Miramax co-founder may spend the rest of his natural life behind bars.
Weinstein, 67, faces four to 25 years in prison for the first-degree rape conviction and up to four years for the third-degree rape conviction.
BREAKING: Jury finds Harvey Weinstein guilty on 2 of 5 counts https://t.co/VRdlJE4VZRpic.twitter.com/D8SH71t9ek
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 24, 2020
The first-degree charge stems from a 2006 incident where Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on "Project Runway" production assistant Miriam "Mimi" Haley at his Soho apartment. The third-degree conviction is based on a 2013 rape allegation by Weinstein's former hairstylist, Jessica Mann. The rape occurred at the DoubleTree Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
"Sopranos" star Sciorra testified that she was raped by Weinstein during the winter of 1993-94. Her testimony was an attempt to increase Weinstein's sentence by proving his behavior was predatory in nature. The jury returned two not-guilty verdicts on those charges.
The trial lasted 23 days and featured emotional testimony by six accusers who recalled being assaulted in graphic detail.
Weinstein was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately after the verdict was read. He faces sentencing on March 11.
Weinstein's legal troubles are far from over. He faces civil cases from dozens of accusers. A civil settlement was proposed, but some of the accusers believe that Weinstein's punishment or a potential money payout will not be sufficient.
While Weinstein didn't have to take the stand in his criminal trial, he will not be afforded the luxury in the civil suits.
"Weinstein may have been able to avoid testifying in the criminal trial, but he will not be afforded that right in his civil trials," said Douglas Wigdor, an attorney for civil plaintiffs. "I relish the day when I get to cross-examine him and ask him to answer for the wrongs he has committed against so many women."
The decision is an important day of reckoning for Weinstein and his victims, as well as other sexual assault survivors. In 2017, Weinstein was the subject of media exposès about his predatory behavior resulting in an avalanche of accusations, pushing the #MeToo movement into full gear as women shared their personal experiences with sexual assault and harassment.
Since, Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and harassment by more than 80 women, making him one of several celebrity faces of the #MeToo era.