Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault and rape, cleared of most serious charge | News | DW | 24.02.2020
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Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault and rape, cleared of most serious charge

The once-powerful American producer now awaits sentencing. The allegations against him helped usher in a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday was found guilty on several charges against him, including sexual assault and third degree rape.

A jury acquitted Weinstein on two counts of predatory sexual assault and first degree rape, which carried a potential life sentence.

The sexual assault conviction could earn him 25 years in prison.

Annabella Sciorra, best known for her role in "The Sopranos," testified that Weinstein showed up unexpectedly at her apartment in New York one night in the early 1990s, raped her, and then forced her to have oral sex with him.

Weinstein was charged with five counts stemming from the allegations from Sciorra and two other women, one an aspiring actress who said he raped her in March 2013 and the other a former film and TV production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, who said he forcibly performed oral sex on her in March 2006.

Read more: Harvey Weinstein on trial: A timeline

A jury of seven men and five women took five days to find him guilty.

Weinstein to appeal

The judge immediately ordered the Weinstein to go to prison and he was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He will remain in custody until March 11. 

Weinstein's trial was a high-profile milestone for the #MeToo movement, which inspired women to reveal sexual abuse and harrasment allegations against powerful men.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said: "It’s a new day because Weinstein has finally been held accountable."

He praised the jurors. "Your verdict turned a page in our criminal justice system.

"To the survivors: I owe and we owe an immense debt of courage to you," Vance said.

Weinstein's defense lawyers said he would appeal the decision.

"Obviously he's disappointed, but he's strong, he's mentally tough and he's going to continue to fight," lead defence attorney Donna Rotunno said.

kp,jsi/aw (AP, Reuters)

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