Harvey Weinstein's Manhattan Trial: Found Guilty
On February 24, 2020, influential Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, was found guilty by a jury for two out of five sexual assault charges. Mr. Weinstein was convicted of rape and criminal sexual act, although he was acquitted for one of the more serious charges, predatory sexual assault. As a result of the criminal charges, the producer faced a possible sentence of five to twenty-five years. Weinstein was officially sentenced to 23 years in prison on March 11th; 20 years for Miriam Haley’s accusation and 3 years for Jessica Mann’s accusation.
The allegations against Weinstein began in October of 2017. Several actresses came forward with their stories of sexual misconduct regarding Harvey Weinstein and led to the rise of the #MeToo movement. Some of the actresses that came forward with the allegations included Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette, Asia Argento, Miriam Haley, and Jessica Mann. In response to the verdict, Ashley Judd said on Twitter: “For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to women and girls everywhere, thank you.”
Another victim, Asia Argento, wrote on Instagram, “Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist. Two survivors cry and celebrate. Thank you God.” Kate Beckinsale, an actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of psychological abuse, also said, “Hearing that he has gone to prison for 23 years is a huge relief to me on behalf of all the women he sexually assaulted or raped, and I hope this will be a deterrent to that sort of behavior in this and any other industry.” Thus, the Hollywood producer’s verdict was truly a break-through moment for the victims and the #MeToo movement.
Yet, immediately after the trial, Mr. Weinstein complained of having “chest pains” and apparently showed signs of having “high blood pressure.” As a result, the producer was then admitted to the Bellevue hospital, located in Manhattan, New York, a few miles away from Riker’s Island Jail. Weinstein was expected to be taken to the infamous Riker’s Island Prison, though due to his supposed chest pains, he was instead taken to the nearby hospital.
Although Mr. Weinstein was acquitted for some of the charges in New York, he still faces two other charges from two women in Los Angeles, California. The two women came forward with their sexual assault allegations exactly one day apart back in February of 2013. Overall, Weinstein faced five charges in New York and two charges in California.
In conclusion, the famous Hollywood producer paid off his victims for decades to maintain his career and reputation. Since the New York verdict, many have ridiculed Weinstein for his actions and have blasted him on social media and news outlets. When asked about the outcome of the trial, the Manhattan district attorney, Mr. Cy Vance, said, “The women, who came forward courageously and at great risk, made that happen. Mr. Weinstein is a vicious sexual serial predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate, and silence his victims.” Mr. Weinstein is expected to be transferred from the Bellevue hospital to one of two New York correctional facilities: Fishkill Correctional Facility and Coxsackie Correctional Facility. Lastly, the disgraced Harvey Weinstein will complete his sentence of 23 years in prison.
* Note: On March 23, Mr. Weinstein tested positive for COVID-19.