Harvey Weinstein, a former movie mogul who was once one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood, has been found guilty of se*ually assaulting and raping one of the four women who accused him and are on trial in Los Angeles.
This verdict is a significant moment in the ongoing #MeToo movement, as Weinstein's actions were among the first to be brought to light and sparked a global conversation about se*ual harassment and assault. During the trial, prosecutors argued that Weinstein used his position of power and influence in the film industry to manipulate and coerce women into private meetings, where he would then assault them.
After a week of emotional testimony and 10 days of deliberation, the jury in Los Angeles returned a verdict finding Weinstein guilty of three of the seven charges against him. However, the jury also acquitted Weinstein on one count of se*ual assault by restraint against a massage therapist in a hotel room in 2010, as well as on one count of forced oral copulation and one count of rape charges against two other women, including director Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
The woman, identified as Jane Doe 1 in court, was the first to testify
“Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013. I will never get that back. The criminal trial was brutal. Weinstein’s lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand.
But I knew I had to see this through the end, and I did… I hope Harvey Weinstein never sees the outside of a prison cell during his lifetime,” Jane Doe 1 said in a statement released through her attorney.
Weinstein had pleaded not guilty to all charges
“Harvey is obviously disappointed, however hopefully because with this particular accuser there are good ground to appeal based on time and location of alleged events,” Weinstein’s spokesperson Juda Engelmayer said in a statement.
“He is grateful the jury took their time to deliberate on the other counts and he is prepared to continue fighting for his innocence”. Despite the acquittals on some charges, the guilty verdict on three counts marks a significant victory for the survivors of Weinstein's abuse and for the #MeToo movement as a whole.
The trial and its outcome serve as a reminder of the importance of holding powerful individuals accountable for their actions and supporting survivors in their pursuit of justice.