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Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and two sexual assaults

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Verdict shared for Harvey Weinstein: the former Hollywood producer was found guilty on Monday December 19 of rape and two sexual assaults at the end of his trial in Los Angeles, only half of the charges for which he was prosecuted.

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After two weeks of deliberation, the jurors found him guilty on all charges brought by the first of the four accusers. They found him not guilty regarding those of a second woman, and did not issue a verdict regarding the allegations made by the other two.

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The 70-year-old former film ‘king’, who produced award-winning hits like ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘The Artist’, is already serving a 23-year prison sentence after his 2020 New York conviction for similar. After the Los Angeles verdict, he faces up to 24 additional years behind bars.

The press investigations that revealed the first accusations in 2017 provoked #MeToo, a global movement for the liberation of women’s voices on gender-based and sexual violence.

“Harvey Weinstein destroyed a part of me forever”, reacted Monday in a press release the first victim, to which the jurors gave entirely right. Anonymous like the other four plaintiffs, she hoped that he “never in his life see the outside of a prison cell”.

“Partial Verdict”

During this new trial, these four women accused the producer in great detail of forcing them to have sex in hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013. A fifth finally refused to testify.

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After weeks of grueling hearings, often interrupted by sobbing plaintiffs, the prosecution had portrayed Harvey Weinstein as an all-powerful ogre, a “predator” whose stranglehold on Hollywood – the films he produced have received more than 330 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes – has long kept his victims from speaking out, for fear of career repercussions.

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In a gray suit, the former movie giant buried his head in his hands as the convictions were handed down.

Los Angeles prosecutor George Gascon regretted the half-hearted decision of the jurors. “I am of course disappointed that the jury was divided on some of the counts, but I hope that its partial verdict brings at least some justice to the victims”he reacted in a press release.

Call to New York

The verdict of this new trial in Los Angeles was particularly important for the ex-producer. Because after an initial refusal of justice, the New York Supreme Court finally authorized him in August to appeal his 2020 conviction, an initial decision which had been a major victory for the #MeToo movement.

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Combative, his defense systematically questioned the word of the four accusers during the trial and insisted on the lack of material evidence and forensic elements. She had particularly incriminated Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who revealed her identity during the trial.

According to the defense, she had a relationship in exchange for favors in Hollywood, which she later regretted and turned into accusations, surfing the avalanche of revelations aimed at Harvey Weinstein at the start of the #MeToo movement in 2017. who instilled doubt in the jurors: Jennifer Siebel-Newsom is one of the two women for whom they have not pronounced a verdict.

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In a press release, the actress focused on the partial conviction pronounced on Monday. “Harvey Weinstein will never rape another woman again”she rejoiced. “He will spend the rest of his life where he deserves, behind bars. »

Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, however, pointed out “sexism, misogyny and bullying tactics” employed by Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers to “ridiculing us survivors”. “This trial has been a powerful reminder of the work we still have to do as a society”she said.

In total, nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette, have accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment, sexual assault or rape. But the statute of limitations has been exceeded in many of these cases, some dating back to 1977. The ex-producer is also charged in the United Kingdom with sexual assaults which date back to 1996.

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