Could Harvey Weinstein Actually Face Criminal Charges for Sexual Assault?
So much of the #MeToo movement involves women speaking up about crimes committed against them that, as heinous as they are, can no longer be prosecuted in a court of law. So they take to the only “court” at their disposal: the court of public opinion. However, it seems that the alleged perpetrator at the forefront of this “watershed moment” might actually, possibly face criminal charges in actual court-court.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Police Department submitted three cases of sexual assault filed against Harvey Weinstein to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office. This is in addition to two cases of sexual assault against Weinstein that the Beverly Hills Police Department submitted to the D.A’s office last month. Now, all five cases are under review.
Weinstein also has cases against him in New York and London, though as of right now, there’s no similar movement there. There are no details as of now as to whose cases were submitted, or what the exact charges would be, but they provide the smallest glimmer of hope that Weinstein might actually be forced to face our justice system for these alleged crimes.
This would be amazing, because until now, far too many people are worrying about “men’s feelings” and “men’s careers” when it comes to what allegations of assault from women (and some men and children of either gender) will “do to them.” The concern isn’t with the victims, but with men’s embarrassment or professional harm. Some are even going to the lengths of setting up cases of libel against their accusers, despite the fact that they will face zero court or jail time for their own alleged crimes.
As if professional embarrassment or being uncomfortable were in any way the same level of harm as being raped or molested.
Weinstein actually being brought up on charges would hopefully teach people the difference. It would be something to point to, like, “See? THIS is something to worry about. JAIL TIME is something to worry about. People not wanting to work with you anymore because you’ve proven yourself an asshole? That’s a consequence you can suck it up about. You are not entitled to a completely consequence-free existence.”
It would also (again, hopefully) show that “buried” actions don’t stay buried forever. Consequences might not be immediate, but they’re certain.
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