Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been
convicted of sexual assault and rape in a New York court and taken away in
handcuffs, a turning point for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to
publicly accuse powerful men of misconduct.
Once one of Hollywood's most influential producers, Weinstein, 67, was on
Monday found guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi
Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a one-time aspiring actress, in 2013.
The jury of seven men and five women acquitted Weinstein on the most serious
charges. Those carried a potential life sentence.
Justice James Burke ordered Weinstein to be held in custody. Officers helped
Weinstein unsteadily to his feet before leading him away in handcuffs.
Actress Rose McGowan, who had accused Weinstein of rape, wrote on Twitter:
"Today is a powerful day & a huge step forward in our collective healing."
He faces up to 25 years in prison on the sexual assault conviction. He was
also convicted of third degree rape - sexual intercourse without consent -
which carries a prison sentence of up to four years.
His sentencing hearing was set for March 11.
Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala quoted Weinstein as saying to him after the
verdict, "I'm innocent. I'm innocent. How can this happen in America?"
Weinstein was being taken to a medical facility at Rikers Island jail, Aidala
said outside the courtroom. "We will have a very professional appeal done by
the best and the brightest in the business," he said.
Weinstein still faces sexual assault charges in California, which were
announced just hours after his New York trial began on January 6. Dozens of
women have also filed civil lawsuits against him.
More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual
misconduct stretching back decades. He had denied the accusations and said any
sexual encounters were consensual.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said at a news conference: "It's a new
day because Weinstein has finally been held accountable." He praised the
jurors. "Your verdict turned a page in our criminal justice system.
"To the survivors: I owe and we owe an immense debt of courage to you," Vance
The jury acquitted Weinstein on two counts of predatory sexual assault and
first degree rape - forcible sexual intercourse - of Mann.