Harvey Weinstein found guilty after landmark #MeToo trial

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein could face more than 25 years in jail after being found guilty of two charges in his sexual assault trial.

He was found guilty of a criminal sex act for assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006 and third-degree rape of Jessica Mann in 2013.

Following the verdicts, Cyrus Vance, New York County District Attorney described Weinstein as a “vicious, serial sexual predator”.

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr speaks at the New York Criminal Court following Harvey Weinstein's guilty verdict

New York County district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr speaks at the New York Criminal Court following Harvey Weinstein’s guilty verdict.

The jury of seven men and five women found him not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, that could have resulted in a life sentence.

A criminal sex act is defined as “engaging in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion or who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless”.

It has a maximum jail term of 25 years.

Live: Reaction to Harvey Weinstein verdict

Live: Reaction to Harvey Weinstein verdict

Third degree rape is when a person engages in sexual intercourse with someone who is incapable of consent. It comes with a maximum jail term of four years.

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Weinstein will remain in custody until his sentencing on 11 March.

Throughout the trial, Weinstein's legal team argued that all of the alleged incidents were consensual.

Weinstein ‘shocked’ at verdict – defence lawyer

The trial has been seen as a watershed for the #MeToo movement.

Harvey Weinstein was once the king of Hollywood, a man with the power to make and break careers in the movies.

Mimi Haleyi arrives at court in New York
Image:Mimi Haleyi said Weinstein forced her to let him perform oral sex at his New York apartment
Weinstein: Hollywood's reckoning

Weinstein: Hollywood’s reckoning

But in October 2017, in reports by the New York Times and the New Yorker, the Oscar-winning producer was accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women. He was also accused of reaching settlements to keep the stories quiet.

In the months that followed, dozens more women came forward to allege incidents of rape, sexual assault and harassment by Weinstein dating back decades.

He admitted his behaviour had “caused a lot of pain”, but consistently denied all the sexual allegations made against him.

The women who fought Harvey Weinstein in court

The women who fought Harvey Weinstein in court

WEINSTEIN

Three women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault react to his fall from grace.

It was a moment that gave birth to the #MeToo movement as women came forward to detail incidents involving powerful figures in the entertainment industry and beyond.

Police investigations into the allegations against Weinstein also stretched from Los Angeles to New York and London.

His appearance before the cameras, handcuffed and flanked by police officers after being charged by prosecutors in New York, was a striking moment.

Jessica Mann accused Harvey Weinstein of overpowering her and raping her in a hotel in 2013
Image:Jessica Mann accused Weinstein of overpowering her and raping her in a hotel

The victims, actress Jessica Mann and production assistant Mimi Haleyi, gave graphic evidence during the course of the four-week trial.

But prosecutors also called as a witness the actress Annabella Sciorra, who claimed Weinstein raped her in her apartment in the early 1990s.

Although the allegation was too old to bring a criminal prosecution, it was intended to show Weinstein had engaged in a pattern of behaviour as support for the other charges.

Annabella Sciorra arrives to testify as a witness in the case of film producer Harvey Weinstein
Image:Annabella Sciorra arrives to testify as a witness in the case

Three other women also gave evidence to the trial about their alleged experiences with Weinstein even though they were not named in the charges.

Under the “Molineux Rule” in New York, such witnesses are allowed to testify to “prior bad acts”.

Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s legal team argued that all of the alleged incidents were consensual.

Video shows Weinstein behaving inappropriately with businesswoman

Video shows Weinstein behaving inappropriately with businesswoman

Many of those who have made accusations against Weinstein have attended the trial.

A number of them were part of a civil case against him and his companies.

But the criminal jeopardy is not over for Weinstein.

On the first day of his trial in New York, prosecutors 2,500 miles away in Los Angeles announced new charges against him.

He is accused of rape and sexual battery of two women in hotel rooms on successive nights in 2013.

If convicted on those charges, he could face 28 years in prison.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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