A jury in a Los Angeles court on Monday found former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape and two other counts of sexual assault.
At the conclusion of two weeks of deliberations, the jury found the defendant guilty of all three counts brought against him by the first of the four women who accused him of sexually assaulting them.
On the other hand, the jurors acquitted Weinstein of the charges brought against him by the second plaintiff, while they did not reach a ruling on the charges brought against the accused by the two remaining plaintiffs.
The 70-year-old producer of “Pulp Fiction” and “The Artist”, who was dubbed the “King of Cinema”, is serving a 23-year prison sentence issued against him in New York in 2020 on similar sexual charges.
In this new trial, Weinstein faced accusations from four women, whose identities were kept confidential, detailing how he forced them to have sexual relations with him in hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013. There was a fifth plaintiff who ultimately refused to testify.
After exhausting trial sessions that lasted for weeks, during which the victims were often crying, prosecutors described Weinstein as a “ghoul” with great influence in Hollywood (his films were nominated for 330 Oscars and won 81 of them), stressing that this matter discouraged his victims from exposing him. They were reluctant to report it, fearing for their future careers.
In her closing argument, Attorney General Marilyn Martinez said, “There is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator.” “Like all predators, he had his own way,” she added, appealing to the jury to “end his sentence of intimidation.”
The former producer refrained from giving his testimony during the trial, but he always said that the sexual relations with the women who were prosecuting him took place with their consent.
In all, about 90 women, including stars Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, have accused Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting them. However, many of these cases have expired, as some of them date back to 1977.
Weinstein is also accused in the United Kingdom of committing sexual assaults dating back to 1996.