Los Angeles, CA

Harvey Weinstein convicted of some charges in his sexual assault trial

Amy Niu

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of three of the seven charges brought against him, including rape, in a Los Angeles sexual assault trial.

The seven criminal charges, which involved four different women, included three counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery by restraint, one count of forcible oral copulation, and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object. Weinstein had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

The three charges of which he was convicted—rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object, and forcible oral copulation—were all linked to one accuser, a woman identified in court as Jane Doe 1.

Jane Doe 1 is an actress and model who testified that Weinstein assaulted her in February 2013 in a hotel room in Beverly Hills. In a statement released through her attorney, Jane Doe 1 said, “Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013. I will never get the [sic] back. The criminal trial was brutal. Weinstein’s lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand. But I knew I had to see this through to the end, and I did... I hope Harvey Weinstein never sees the outside of a prison cell during his lifetime."

Weinstein currently faces 18 years maximum in prison. Depending on how jurors decide on aggravating factors related to the charges, however, that time could increase to 24 years. The jury is scheduled to return on Tuesday to deliberate the aggravating factors.

Five years ago, the sexual assault allegations against Weinstein helped catalyze the #MeToo movement. Since then, more than 80 women have come out with such allegations. Many spoke out soon after The New York Times and New Yorker publicized the allegations and some of the women's stories in reports in 2017.

The chain reaction of women speaking out against powerful men with their experiences of sexual assault or misconduct is sometimes dubbed "the Weinstein effect."

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is the subject of sexual assault allegations by over 80 women.Photo byEtienne Laurent-Pool, Getty Images

Weinstein, 70, is already serving a 23-year prison sentence after a jury in New York convicted him of rape in the third degree, as well as a first-degree criminal sex act in February 2020. He was found not guilty of three other, more serious charges, including predatory sexual assault, which could have led to a life sentence. He is currently appealing this conviction.

In Los Angeles, Weinstein originally faced 11 charges, but four of them were dropped. Superior Court judge Lisa Lench made the decision to drop them last month, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has not explained why the counts were dropped. These four charges involved a woman identified in an indictment as Jane Doe 5.

The allegations in the Los Angeles trial directly involve four women, with an additional four women testifying in court. Two of them remain anonymous and are identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3. The latter, hired to give Weinstein a massage in 2010, testified that he trapped her in a hotel bathroom and assaulted her.

The other accusers have identified themselves publicly as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California governor Gavin Newsom, who testified in mid-November; Lauren Young, the only accuser to testify at both Weinstein's Los Angeles and New York trials; Kelly Sipherd; Ambra Battilana Gutierrez; Natassia Malthe; and Ashley Matthau.

In closing arguments, the prosecution described Weinstein as "a predator" and urged the jury to "end his reign of terror."

In contrast, the defense said the accusers had engaged in "transactional" interactions with Weinstein due to his influentiality in the entertainment industry.

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