Harvey Weinstein has been convicted by a New York Jury of seven men and five women after five days of deliberation. He was found guilty of sexual assault against Miriam Haley in July of 2006, and for third-degree rape against Jessica Mann in 2013. The maximum sentence for the sexual assault in 25 years, and four years for rape in the third degree.
These convictions come after a protracted and difficult trial where the victim’s sexual histories and choice to continue to associate with Weinstein were questioned and dissected by lawyers and called int question by commentators. The fact that these women have seen justice done in the face of victim-blaming and rape culture is truly an inspiring result.
Sadly, Weinstein was acquitted on the charges of predatory sexual assault after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on those charges, but the conviction on the charges that remained is enough to put this rapist (who we no longer need to call an “alleged rapist”) behind bars for a long time, though perhaps not long enough to make up for the trauma and pain he caused so many women over so many years. Weinstein, 67, faces up to 25 in prison.
This conviction is an empowering moment for all victims of sexual assault and abuse, especially at the hands of men who seem immune from consequences thanks to their power, wealth and influence. Harvey Weinstein was able to abuse and prey on women for years thanks to his status in Hollywood and the idea that it would be useless for anyone to stand up to him. His fall and now his conviction have proven that accepted wisdom wrong.
Sentencing has yet to be decided, but it’s always a good day when a serial rapist finally faces justice.
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