A jury in Los Angeles found disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape on Monday after 10 days of deliberation.
While the 12-member jury convicted Weinstein of rape, they did acquit him on charges of sexual battery by restraint against a Jane Doe accuser and failed to reach a unanimous decision on three sexual assault charges. Per The Hollywood Reporter (THR):
The jury found Weinstein guilty of three counts — forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and penetration by foreign object — against Jane Doe 1. He was acquitted of sexual battery by restraint against Jane Doe 3. The jury couldn’t reach a decision on the charges Weinstein faced of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation against Jane Doe 4 and sexual battery by restraint against Jane Doe 2. Jurors voted to convict him eight to four on charges related to Jane Doe 4 and 10 to two on the charge related to Jane Doe 2.
The Los Angeles trial hinged on the testimonies of four Jane Does, who accused Harvey Weinstein of raping or sexually assaulting them between 2004 and 2013. Another four women testified of being assaulted, though their claims were not used to charge Weinstein. In total, prosecutors called 44 witnesses to testify against the disgraced producer, including high-profile celebrities like Mel Gibson.
Weinstein, who has already been serving a 23-year sentence in the state of New York following a 2020 conviction on similar charges, plead not guilty to all counts of sexual assault and rape in Los Angeles. He faces a maximum of 18 years in prison for the charges in Los Angeles.
Weinstein’s defense largely aimed to poke holes in the testimonies delivered by the Jane Does, charging that they were either lying or willfully had sex with the producer to advance their careers. Among those who testified against Weinstein was California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who first met Weinstein at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2005.
“She testified that she was raped in a meeting Weinstein set up to discuss her career, bursting into tears when asked to identify the disgraced movie mogul.’“He’s wearing a suit and a blue tie, and he’s staring at me,’ she said from the witness stand,” reported THR.
In a statement on on Monday, Siebel Newsom said that Weinstein’s lawyers “used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors.”
“This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do. To all survivors out there – I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you,” she said.