Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape at the end of his trial in Los Angeles Monday. This was the second criminal trial for the disgraced movie producer, who is two years into a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York. It took the Los Angeles jury of eight men and four women nine hours of deliberations over a two-week span to reach their verdict.
Weinstein, 70, was found guilty of rape, forced oral copulation, and another sexual misconduct count in the case involving a woman known as Jane Doe 1, reports the Associated Press. The jury was unable to make a decision on other charges, including those involving allegations from Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The jury also said it could not reach a verdict on charges related to another woman.
The judge declared a mistrial on the counts the jury couldn't reach a verdict on. The jury also found Weinstein not guilty of a sexual battery allegation from another woman. Weinstein could be sentenced to up to 24 years in prison. He initially faced a 65-year prison sentence if the jury convicted him on all counts the prosecution indicted him on, reports CBS Los Angeles. However, the judge dropped four charges connected to allegations from a woman identified as Jane Doe 5.
The trial started in October and included allegations from four women, who accused Weinstein of sexual assault between 2005 and 2013. There was testimony from over 49 witnesses. Weinstein did not take the stand in his own defense. One of the accusers was Lauren Young, who was the only accuser to speak at Weinstein's New York trial as well. All accusers were referred to as Jane Does in the court record, but they have publicly identified themselves. Young accused Weinstein of groping her and masturbating in front of her in a hotel bathroom in 2013. The jury could not reach a verdict on the charges related to Young's allegations.
Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez referred to Weinstein as a "predator" with a pattern of behavior. "Who would suspect that such an entertainment industry titan would be a degenerate rapist?" she said during her closing argument late last month. "For this predator, hotels were his trap," she later told the jury. "Confined within those walls victims were not able to run from his hulking mass. People were not able to hear their screams, they were not able to see them cower."
Weinstein pleaded not guilty, with his defense insisting the incidents with the women were consensual. "Regret is not rape," defense attorney Alan Jackson said in his closing. Jackson told the jury the accusers were asking them to "'Believe us because we're mad, believe us because we cried.'" He added, "Well, fury does not make fact. And tears do not make truth."
Weinstein's verdict comes as the #MeToo movement has seen legal setbacks. Bill Cosby's conviction in Pennsylvania was overturned. Danny Masterson's trial ended in a mistrial. Kevin Spacey also won a sexual battery civil trial in New York in November. Meanwhile, Weinstein's New York conviction is going to the state's highest court after surviving an initial appeal. Weinstein is also likely to appeal the Los Angeles conviction.