News Harvey Weinstein convicted of sexual assault and rape

Harvey Weinstein convicted of sexual assault and rape

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It took the jurors five days to reach an agreement. At the end of this period, they concluded, Monday, February 24, that Harvey Weinstein was guilty of sexual assault and rape. Crimes punishable by 25 years in prison.

Jurors were to decide on the testimony of three of the 80 women who accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment or sexual assault. In the end, they were found guilty of only the following two counts: the sexual assault of former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and the rape of aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

→ CHRONOLOGY. Harvey Weinstein trial: back on key dates in the case

The jury, on the other hand, acquitted the producer of a more serious rape count on Jessica Mann, but especially of the aggravating circumstance of behavior “Predator” who could have earned him life in prison.

If the assault on Mimi Haleyi and the alleged rape of Jessica Mann were judged as such, the rape of a third woman, the actress Annabella Sciorra, although prescribed, could trigger this aggravating circumstance. The jury found Harvey Weinstein not guilty of the rape dating back to the winter of 1993, after asking to rehear the actress’ testimony during its deliberations.

Discriminated Witnesses

Throughout the trial, the defense sought to discredit the accounts of the three women. The lawyers for Harvey Weinstein produced a series of emails showing that Mimi Haleyi and Jessica Mann had maintained contact, on their own initiative, with the accused after the alleged facts.

→ ANALYSIS. In the U.S., the Weinstein Affair Changed Gender

In the case of Jessica Mann, she even admitted to having had unopposed sex with Harvey Weinstein until 2016 by ” fear “. “It was not a relationship”, hammered the prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon. “Jessica Mann was Harvey Weinstein’s rag doll. “

Mimi Haleyi said she had intercourse initiated by the accused about two weeks after the alleged rape, without showing any resistance. It was for her to maintain a ” professional relationship “.

The defense sought to portray two women opportunists, ready to submit to the whims of the producer, even his sexual impulses, in an attempt to set foot in Hollywood. She also suggested that they had testified out of interest to seek compensation.

“They sacrificed their dignity, their privacy, their tranquility in the hope of making their voices heard” at trial, opposed the prosecutor. Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and her deputy Meghan Hast noted that in fact, they had obtained almost nothing from the Hollywood magnate. The prosecution also recalled that neither of the two women had sued Harvey Weinstein for financial compensation and that they had no interest in testifying at trial.

A turning point

Even half-hearted, this guilty verdict could be a turning point for the #MeToo movement, but also for the jurisprudence of this type of case, which very rarely leads to convictions.

The Time’s Up movement, born in the wake of #MeToo to fight sexual assault at work, believed that it marked “A new era for justice”. “The jury’s verdict sends a powerful message to the world about the extent of the progress made since the women who emerged from silence against Weinstein started an unstoppable movement”.

Harvey Weinstein has yet to face another charge for two sexual assaults in Los Angeles, announced in early January.

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