On Monday, disgraced US film mogul Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a woman a decade ago, an act that prosecutors claimed was part of his “rule of terror” over young, aspiring actresses in Hollywood.
In addition to the time he has already spent in prison for sex offenses in New York, the 70-year-old “Pulp Fiction” producer faces up to 24 years in prison.
The Los Angeles case victim expressed her desire for him to “never see the outside of a jail cell during his lifetime” on Monday.
“Harvey Weinstein permanently shattered a part of me that night in 2013, and I will never get it back,” the woman, who went by the name Jane Doe #1 during the trial, said in a statement.
The trial lasted for several weeks, and during that time, the court heard graphic accounts of the once-mighty producer’s interactions with women in the film industry.
The prosecution portrayed a picture of a predatory behemoth who preyed on women for years, using his superior stature and training to get away with sexually assaulting and abusing them.
Prosecutors claim that his victims were left feeling terrified and fearful for their careers if they spoke out against the man who was regarded as the most powerful figure in Hollywood at the time.
Hollywood had known for years about Weinstein’s alleged inappropriate behavior, but due to his prominent position in the business, few were willing to oppose him.
With the release of the explosive allegations against him in 2017, the #MeToo movement was born, and women began speaking out in droves against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
Since then, dozens of women have come forward to say that Weinstein assaulted them.
First he was convicted in New York and sentenced to 23 years in prison; then came charges in Los Angeles involving four different women.
After deliberating for two weeks, a jury on Monday found him guilty on three of the seven counts he faced: forceful rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by a foreign object, all of which involved Jane Doe #1 in a Beverly Hills hotel room in February 2013.
A jury consisting of eight men and four women found him not guilty of sexual battery by restraint involving a second woman.
Two other women had also been accused of assault, but a verdict was not reached on those allegations. One of those ladies was identified by her attorneys as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Judge Lisa Lench of the Los Angeles Superior Court declared a mistrial on those charges.
For the charges on which he was found guilty, Harvey Weinstein faces up to 18 years in jail; aggravating circumstances could boost that to 24 years.
On Tuesday, attorneys will present arguments on sentencing.
Judge Siebel Newsom expressed her satisfaction with the decisions.
It was her prediction that Harvey Weinstein would never violate another woman again.
Where he belongs, in prison, is where he will spend the rest of his life. In other words, what Harvey Weinstein did was rape.
Siebel Newsom claimed that Weinstein’s attorneys “used sexism, bigotry, and bullying methods to intimidate, belittle, and ridicule us survivors” during the entire trial. We as a society have work to do, and this trial was a sharp reminder of that.
All of the allegations were denied by the Oscar-winning producer, and his lawyer attempted to characterize the accusers as either liars who never had sex with his client or as women who laid on the casting couch willingly in exchange for a chance to advance their careers in the film industry.
Prosecutor Marlene Martinez claimed that Weinstein, who is widely regarded with launching the careers of stars like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Gwyneth Paltrow, abused his position of power to sexually harass and intimidate women.
Women who claimed Weinstein had forced them into his hotel room alone testified against him.
Several women spoke of being grabbed or forced to perform oral sex on him as he masturbated, while others spoke of being forced to watch him do the same.
Martinez said to the jury in her closing argument, “We know the horrible behavior the defendant engaged in.” She went on to say that Weinstein thought his influence would make people overlook his behavior.
“‘Well, that’s Harvey being Harvey Weinstein. To paraphrase a popular Hollywood saying: Moreover, that has been the norm for quite some time. They all just averted their heads,” Martinez stated.
The defendant’s “reign of terror” must cease, she said. The kingmaker must be brought to justice.