Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault, rape

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault by a New York jury on Monday but acquitted on the most serious charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life.

Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein, 67, was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

He faces up to 25 years in prison on the sexual assault conviction. The sentencing hearing was scheduled for March 11. He was immediately put in handcuffs and taken into custody.

The jury acquitted Weinstein on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a potential life sentence, and first-degree rape.

The case was a milestone for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men, as well as support other survivors of sexual assault. Women and others called the conviction a “landmark” verdict online.

During his trial, Weinstein often appeared feeble, entering the courthouse using a walker. He sometimes leaned on his lead lawyer, Donna Rotunno, for support.

“He’s taken some good acting tips,” actress Rose McGowan said at the start of the trial on January 6 while staging a protest near the courthouse along with actress Rosanna Arquette and other Weinstein accusers.

More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades. He had denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual. His defence lawyers have said Weinstein will appeal the conviction.

Paul Callan, a former New York prosecutor who is not involved in the case, said Weinstein had strong grounds to argue the verdict should be overturned on appeal because of bias, noting that one of the jurors was the author of a forthcoming book on teenage girls and “predatory” older men.

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