February 24, 2020
Harvey Weinstein, the powerhouse film producer whose downfall over sexual misconduct ignited a global movement, was found guilty on Monday of a felony sex crime and rape after a trial in which six women testified that he had sexually assaulted them.
But the jury acquitted Mr. Weinstein of the two top charges against him, predatory sexual assault.
The verdict offered a measure of justice to the dozens of women who had come forward with similar allegations against Mr. Weinstein. For many, the trial was a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement and a crucial test in the effort to hold powerful men accountable for sexual harassment in the workplace.
Mr. Weinstein sat between his lawyers looking straight ahead when it was announced that the jury had reached a verdict. Four court officers stood behind him, and Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, sat nearby in the front row of the courtroom.
The jury found Mr. Weinstein guilty of two counts, a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. Mr. Weinstein appeared unmoved as the verdict was read.
He was found not guilty on the two counts of predatory sexual assault, which suggests that one or some jurors did not believe the testimony of Annabella Sciorra, an actress best known for her work in “The Sopranos.”
After the verdict was read, Justice James M. Burke thanked the jurors for their “care and concentration” before they left the courtroom. As they filed out, Juror No. 6 stared at Mr. Weinstein.
Six women testified at trial that he had sexually assaulted them, though Mr. Weinstein, 67, faces criminal charges in connection with only two of them. The others were allowed to testify to establish a pattern of behavior.
The indictment rested on the accusations of Miriam Haley, a former television production assistant who testified that Mr. Weinstein forced oral sex on her at his Manhattan apartment in 2006; and Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, who says he raped her in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
Ms. Mann and Ms. Haley both acknowledged that they continued to see Mr. Weinstein after the alleged assaults and later had consensual sex with him, testimony that complicated the prosecution’s case.
Prosecutors described Mr. Weinstein as a clever predator who kept his victims close to control them, using his power over their careers in the film industry as leverage.
But defense lawyers said the women had sex with Mr. Weinstein willingly to further their careers and only years later, after he had been accused in news reports of sexual harassment, began to remember their encounters with him as nonconsensual.
I guess I knew it was coming.
But just wow.
If you missed it, please read the big thing I wrote about this over the weekend.
This is a conviction for every single one of us.
Any woman that you have ever had sex with can now go, a decade or more later, to the police, tell them that in-between “consensual” sexual encounters, there was an encounter that was “nonconsensual,” and you can be tried on her word alone and thrown in prison for rape.
We are all Harvey Weinstein, and now we are all rapists.
Basically: just cut your dick off.
Stay the hell away from all women, because if you engage with any of them, you are giving them complete and total control over your life. From this point forward, any woman you have sex with – or ever had sex with, because these new rules are retroactive – can decide at any moment that she would like to see you in prison.
All she has to do is make the call.
So just give up on women completely. I don’t know what else to tell you. You will go to prison.
If you can’t completely give up sex, then use prostitutes. And make sure there is no question about their age.
I don’t even know what to tell you.
This is it.
The jig is up.
This is all of us, right now: