Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty In L.A. Sexual Assault Trial


Topline

A Los Angeles jury found disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein guilty Monday on one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault, following a 23-year sentence in New York over similar convictions.

Key Facts

Weinstein was acquitted of one count of sexual battery and the jury hung on three other counts against him, according to the Associated Press.

Weinstein was found guilty on counts relating to Jane Doe No. 1, and the jury hung on counts relating to the testimony of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, among others.

The jury deliberated for more than 9 days.

Weinstein was charged in state court with two counts of forcible rape and five counts of sexual assault, which he pleaded not guilty to, and faced a maximum of 60 years in prison.

The charges stemmed from incidents involving four women—a fifth woman and the four charges relating to her were dropped from the trial while it was going on without explanation.

Key Background

Allegations against Weinstein, who was once one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, were first revealed in separate investigations in 2017 in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sparked the #MeToo movement that brought allegations of sexual misconduct and abuses against many other powerful people. Roughly 100 accusers have come forward with allegations against Weinstein. The L.A. trial—brought by the Los Angeles district attorney last year—focused on allegations from four women, many of whom remained anonymous. The first Jane Doe, an actress from Italy, said Weinstein raped her in 2013 when he arrived at her hotel room uninvited. Lauren Young, the second Jane Doe, also testified in Weinstein’s New York trial. She alleged Weinstein trapped her in a bathroom in 2013—the day before the alleged incident with the first Jane Doe—and assaulted her and masterbated in front of her. The third Jane Doe said she was hired by Weinstein to give him a massage in 2010, when he also groped her and masturbated in front of her. The fourth Jane Doe is Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Weinstein’s lawyers argued there isn’t evidence that some of the events took place, or that the women were forced to remain in his presence. They also said Weinstein and Siebel Newsom had consensual sex, according to the Associated Press. The former actress testified that Weinstein raped her in 2005 in a hotel when she met with him about her career. Four other women, Kelly Sipherd, Ambra Battlana Gutierrez, Natassia Malthe and Ashley Matthau, also testified about their alleged experiences with Weinstein. Weinstein did not testify during the trial, which lasted over one month.

Surprising Fact

Like in his New York trial, specific details about Weinstein’s genitalia were brought up and are key pieces of evidence. Prosecutors argued that the first Jane Doe, who many of the charges hinged on, could not know details about the appearance of his body if she had not been harmed by him.

Tangent

Weinstein was found guilty in 2020 in New York of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, and was cleared of predatory sexual assault and rape in the first degree. The charges stemmed from two accusers. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison, and was extradited to Los Angeles while standing trial there.

What To Watch For

Weinstein was granted the opportunity to appeal his New York conviction in August. Oral arguments will be presented sometime next year.

Further Reading

Harvey Weinstein Sex Assault Trial: Some Potential Jurors Reportedly Not Aware Of #MeToo (Forbes)

All the Testimony From Harvey Weinstein’s L.A. Trial (The Cut)



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