Harvey Weinstein convicted of rape in Los Angeles trial | Ents & Arts News

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape in a trial in California.

The 70-year-old predator had been on trial in Los Angeles, charged with raping and sexually assaulting two women and committing sexual battery against two others.

A jury has found him guilty of raping one woman, but not guilty of sexual battery by restraint of another woman.

The jury was unable to reach verdicts on several counts, including charges involving Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, and the allegations of another woman, with a mistrial declared on those counts.

In addition to being found guilty of rape, Weinstein was found guilty of forced oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object involving the same woman, who said he appeared uninvited at her hotel room during a Los Angeles film festival in 2013.

Weinstein appeared to put his face in his hands when the initial guilty counts were read, then looked forward as the rest of the verdict was read.

He faces up to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced.

“Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs,” Ms Siebel Newsom said in a statement.

“Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors. The trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do.”

Film producer already serving 23-year sentence

The Oscar-winning film producer is already serving a 23-year jail sentence for rape and sexual assault after being convicted in a landmark court case in New York in 2020, which was seen as a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement.

However, earlier this year he was granted permission to appeal.

As such, the month-long LA trial, widely viewed as symbolic, assumed greater significance.

In their closing argument, prosecutors had urged jurors to complete Weinstein’s fall from grace, arguing it was time for his “reign of terror to end”.

In turn, his lawyer had argued the four women were untrustworthy.

Alan Jackson argued the stories of two women who Weinstein was alleged to have sexually assaulted on consecutive days in 2013 “simply never happened”.

He also said Weinstein’s alleged rape and assault of the other two women in 2005 and 2010 were “100% consensual” encounters that the women engaged in for career advancement.

The birth of the #MeToo movement

Once one of Hollywood’s most influential figures, whose films included Shakespeare In Love, Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Gangs Of New York, Weinstein had the power to make and break careers in the movies.

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

Read more:
Journalists who helped bring down Weinstein ‘flabbergasted’ to see their work turned into film

‘He was so determined’: California governor’s wife breaks down in tears as she accuses Weinstein of rape

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.

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.

The Pulitzer-prize-winning expose of Weinstein by New York Times reporters has now been turned into a film, She Said, starring Carey Mulligan.

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