Former film producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of three of seven charges against him, including rape, on Monday in a sexual assault trial in Los Angeles in which prosecutors said he had used his Hollywood influence to lure women into private meetings and assault them.
He faces a 24-year prison sentence, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Jurors found Weinstein not guilty on one count of forcible sexual assault against another woman. They were a hung jury on one count of forcible sexual assault, one count of forced oral copulation and one count of rape linked to two other women – including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker and first partner of California Governor Gavin Newsom .
The three counts on which he was convicted – rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object and forced oral copulation – were all linked to one of his accusers, a model and actress who testified that the movie mogul assaulted her in a hotel room in Beverly Hills in February 2013.
The woman, identified as Jane Doe 1 in court, was the first to testify at trial.
“Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013. I’ll never get it back. The criminal trial was brutal. Weinstein’s lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand. But I knew I had to see this through, and I did…I hope Harvey Weinstein never sees the outside of a jail cell in his lifetime,” Jane Doe 1 in a statement released by his lawyer.
Weinstein had pleaded not guilty to all seven counts against him.
“Harvey is obviously disappointed, but hopefully, because with this particular accuser, there are good grounds to appeal based on the time and place of the alleged events,” Weinstein spokesman Judah said. Engelmayer, in a statement. “He is grateful that the jury took the time to deliberate on the other counts and he is prepared to continue to fight for his innocence.”
The verdict was delivered as jurors entered their third week of deliberations, meeting for a total of 41 hours over a 10-day period.
Elizabeth Fegan, an attorney representing Siebel Newsom, who was identified in court as Jane Doe 4, said she was disappointed the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charges related to her client.
“My client, Jane Doe 4, shared her story not in the hope of testifying but in support of all survivors who bravely came forward. While we are heartened that the jury found Weinstein guilty on some of the counts of prosecution, we are disappointed that the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on Jane Doe 4. She will continue to fight for all women and all victims of abuse against a system that allows the victim to be shamed and re-traumatized in the name of justice,” Fegan said in a statement to CNN.
The Los Angeles jury deliberated longer than the New York jury in Weinstein’s first criminal trial of 2020, in which he was found guilty of criminal sexual act and third-degree rape after 26 hours of deliberation.
Weinstein has already served 23 years for this conviction. His attorneys appealed, putting more emphasis on the outcome of the trial in Los Angeles.
Jurors will return to court on Tuesday to consider aggravating factors to help determine the outcome of Weinstein’s sentencing hearing, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The week-long trial in Los Angeles saw moving testimony from Weinstein’s accusers – a model, a dancer, a massage therapist and Siebel Newsom – who were all asked to recount the details of their allegations against him, provide details about meetings with the producer years ago, and explaining their reactions to the alleged assaults.
Weinstein initially faced 11 charges, but four charges related to an unnamed woman were dropped without explanation. She did not testify at trial.
Jane Doe 2, who has been identified as Lauren Young, told her lawyer Gloria Allred over the phone that she was happy Weinstein had been convicted on some of the charges despite the mistrial, Allred said during an interview. a press conference after the verdict.
“I am relieved that Harvey Weinstein has been convicted because he deserves to be punished for the crimes he committed, and he can no longer use his power to intimidate and sexually assault more women,” Young said. in a statement read by Allred.
In her closing arguments, Assistant Los Angeles County District Attorney Marlene Martinez called Weinstein a “titan” who used his power in Hollywood to prey on women and silence them.
“The rapists rape. You can look at the model,” fellow prosecutor Paul Thompson told jurors.
“You have irrefutable, overwhelming evidence of what this man was and what he did to these women,” Thompson said.
Meanwhile, Weinstein’s lawyers have argued the allegations were either fabricated or occurred consensually in a “transactional relationship” with the film producer, repeatedly claiming there is no had no evidence of assault.
Defense attorney Alan Jackson called the accusers “seekers of fame and fortune”.
The trial in Los Angeles included testimony from the four accusers identified as Jane Does in court, as well as other witnesses, including experts, law enforcement, friends of the accusers and former aides to Weinstein.
Additionally, four women testified that they were subjected to similar behavior by Weinstein in other jurisdictions.
Every morning at trial, Weinstein was wheeled from a correctional facility and into the Los Angeles courtroom wearing a suit and tie and holding a composition notebook.
His accusers all began their often moving testimonies by identifying him in the courtroom as he looked on.
“He’s wearing a suit and a blue tie and he’s looking at me,” Siebel Newsom said last month, ahead of what was one of the trial’s most emotional moments. She testified that Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in 2005.
During the trial, defense attorney Jackson asked jurors if they could ‘take what (the Jane Do) said as gospel’, arguing that what they said was a lack of forensic evidence. in support of their assertion.
“Five words that sum up the entire prosecution case: ‘Trust me at my word,'” Jackson said. “’Take my word that he showed up in my hotel room unannounced. Take my word for it, I showed up at his hotel room. Take my word for it, I didn’t consent. Take my word for it, I said no. ”
Siebel Newsom described an hour-long ‘cat and mouse period’ leading up to his alleged assault. She, like other accusers, described feeling “frozen” that day.
Weinstein’s attorneys don’t deny the incident, but said he believes it was consensual.
Jackson called the incident “consensual and transactional sex,” adding, “Regret is not the same as rape. And it’s important that we make that distinction in this courtroom.
In her closing arguments, Martinez pointed out that the women who testified chose to do so when they knew they would face difficult conditions in court.
“The truth is, while you’re sitting here, we know the despicable behavior of the defendant. He thought he was so powerful that people…would excuse his behavior,” Martinez said. “It’s just that Harvey is Harvey. It’s just Hollywood. And for so long, that’s what everyone did. Everyone just turned their heads.