Harvey Weinstein Is Found Guilty of Rape And Could Face 25 Years in Prison

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The #MeToo movement just scored a big victory this week as film mogul Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape and criminal sexual act. A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for nearly 27 hours over five days to reach the verdicts this week.

Weinstein, 67, may have been acquitted of top sex charges, but being found guilty of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act is a step in the right direction and provides some justice to the many women he had allegedly sexually abused. For the two counts of predatory sexual assault he was acquitted as well as for the first-degree rape charge.

He now faces a sentence of 5 to 25 years in prison for the conviction on a charge of committing a first-degree criminal sexual act. Weinstein was found guilty for forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.

A charge of third-degree rape relates to the claim that Weinstein attacked aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. This charge has a maximum possible sentence of four years.

Weinstein “just kept repeating, ‘But I’m innocent, but I’m innocent, I’m innocent, how could this happen in America?’ ” while the verdict was read, said his lawyer, Arthur Aidala. “As sure as I am bald, we will be appealing this,” said Aidala.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., remarked, “Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims.”

“These women were not just brave, they were heroic,” Vance said of the accusers.

“While it is disappointing that today’s outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve, Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator,” said a statement by a group called the Silence Breakers.

“This conviction would not be possible without the testimony of the courageous women and the many women who have spoken out. Despite intimidation from Weinstein’s legal team, they courageously shared their stories with the jury, the courtroom and the world. This has been a flawed process from the beginning but has further exposed the difficulties women face in coming forward to tell the truth about powerful abusers,” the group added.

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