High profile Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of sexual assault. The sixty seven year old, Weinstein was convicted of third-degree rape and criminal sexual act and faces up to 25 years in prison. The jury of seven men and five women reached their verdict on Monday morning after five days of deliberations. The jury acquitted Weinstein on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a potential life sentence. More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades.

The Harvey Weinstein case was the epicentre of the now globally widespread #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with incidents of sexual assault, sexual advances and other allegations against powerful men.

“Harvey Weinstein operated with impunity and without remorse for decades in Hollywood. Yet, it still took years, and millions of voices raised, for one man to be held accountable by the justice system.”

Following the verdict, Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, thanked both the “survivors who courageously testified,” and jury that “voted to find an unremorseful Harvey Weinstein guilty.”

She said it took many years and millions of voices but it was worth it.  “Harvey Weinstein operated with impunity and without remorse for decades in Hollywood. Yet, it still took years, and millions of voices raised, for one man to be held accountable by the justice system,” she said in a statement.

Soraya Chemaly of the Women Media Centre tweeted, “Was dreading the Weinstein news. This is a just outcome. Grateful to journalists who pursued this story and the dozens of brave women who came forward, especially Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra for enduring grueling courtroom process. Never use “alleged” again.”

The Case

In January 2020, actor Annabella Sciorra became the first of the many accusers of Weinstein to testify the allegations. Of all the allegations against the fallen Hollywood mogul, the only criminal case was the rape of a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006, Apnews reported.

In November 2018, Ashley Judd had accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her twice in 2010. The 67-year-old stands accused of sexual misconduct by several women. Rose McGowan is one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment.

Following allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ousted him from the board in October 2017. Allegations against Harvey Weinstein first emerged in October 2017, after the New York Times reported incidents of sexual misconduct dating back decades. In May 2018 the fallen movie Mogul turned himself in to the Police.

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