Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and sexual assault at New York trial

03:23 PM | 25 Feb, 2020
Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and sexual assault at New York trial
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NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault in a New York court Monday, the first conviction to emerge from the dozens of misconduct allegations against the once-powerful movie producer.

The jury in New York convicted the 63-year-old of third-degree rape of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, as well as a count of the criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley, a former "Project Runway" production assistant.

 But the jury found him not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a sentence of up to life in prison. He was also acquitted on a count of first-degree rape against Mann.

Weinstein was escorted out of a courtroom in handcuffs on Monday after the verdict was read and is to serve 25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for March 11.

The verdict is the completion of a six-week trial that was considered as a landmark legal test of the #MeToo movement that sparked three years ago by allegations against the disgraced film producer. 

The jury, consisting of seven men and five women, reached its decision after about 30 hours of deliberations over five days.

He still faces charges in Los Angeles of assaulting two women in 2013.

At least 80 women had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.

Monday's verdict represents a milestone for the #MeToo movement supporting sexual assault survivors.

Weinstein's defence team intends to ask for bail pending an appeal they expect to file this week. The attorneys plan to raise numerous "issues," including the jury-selection process and a vague verdict sheet.

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