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Harvey Weinstein news: Celebrity accusers welcome guilty verdict as he faces up to 29 years in jail for rape

Chris Riotta
New York
Monday 24 February 2020 19:45
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Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York

The jury presiding over Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial announced it reached a verdict on Monday after having initially indicated it was split on the top charges against the disgraced Hollywood film producer.

The jury found Weinstein guilty of sexual assault after five days of debate, bringing the film producer to justice after he had been accused by scores of women over the years of luring them into hotel rooms with the promise of business opportunities, to then sexually assault them.

Weinstein was previously regarded as one of the most influential producers in film, and the explosive allegations against him marked a historic turning point during the creation of the #MeToo movement.

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Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Harvey Weinstein's verdict announcement. The jury deliberating over the disgraced film producer's sexual assault trial announced on Monday morning it had reached a decision, finding Weinstein guilty. 

Follow along as live updates come in. 

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 16:54
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Weinstein has been found guilty in two counts – third-degree rape and sexual assault.

He has been acquitted on counts of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape.

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 16:57
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Here's The Independent's Clemence Michallon, who has been reporting on the Harvey Weinstein case since it started, with more on the disgraced film producer's guilty verdict: 

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 16:58
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Weinstein was found guilty of a criminal sex act for assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006 and third-degree rape of a woman in 2013. The jury found him not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, that could have resulted in a life sentence.

Jurors signaled their struggles with the Sciorra charges four days into deliberations. On Friday, after reviewing sections of her testimony and related evidence, they sent a note to the judge indicating they were deadlocked on the counts but had reached a unanimous verdict on the others. After some debate in the courtroom, the judge ordered jurors to keep deliberating.

While Weinstein did not testify, his lawyers contended that any sexual contact was consensual and that his accusers went to bed with him to advance their careers.

The defense seized on the fact that two of the women central to the case stayed in contact with Weinstein through warm and even flirty emails — and had sex with him — well after he supposedly attacked them.

AP

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:04
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Sarah Anne Masse, one of Weinstein's numerous accusers, wrote about his guilty verdict in The Independent

"While the partial guilty verdict in the New York versus Harvey Weinstein case today does not deliver the full justice that I and the many women who have spoken out about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein deserve, it does bring a measure of relief.

I was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and I followed the trial religiously. While it is reassuring to know that Weinstein will serve some time behind bars, we are still in need of a justice system that recognizes how hard these crimes are to report and that respects the trauma women go through when assaulted and in court. The trial should never have looked the way it did.

When this trial began in early January, I was full of hope. The powerful producer who had assaulted me when I was a young actress was finally facing Lady Justice."

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:07
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Weinstein now faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years for sexually assaulting Miriam Haley during an encounter in 2006 at his apartment in New York City. 

The disgraced film producer was also convicted of third-degree rape in Jessica Mann's 2013 assault.

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:13
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  ↵

Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial has ended in New York City with the disgraced movie mogul convicted on charges of rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act in the first degree.

He must now face additional allegations in California.

The producer could spend up to 28 years in prison if convicted on the California charges, which include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery.

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:20
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Caitlin Dulany, one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers, writes for The Independent

"For 20 years I had kept silent about my assault, living with feelings of fear, trauma and shame that deeply affected my life and career. Sexual assaults are designed to isolate and intimidate and for all that time, I thought I was alone. 

Then, in the fall of 2017, reports of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of predatory behavior broke. Like many others, I found my voice. Since then, over 100 women have spoken out publicly, alleging that they were abused by Harvey Weinstein and the similarities in our stories are undeniable. We couldn’t all be lying or colluding or conspiring to bring one man down. I felt as if we were finally collectively having our day in court.

As we faced those first days of jury selection and opening statements, I had faith that this trial would do even more to bring forward Harvey Weinstein’s criminal behavior and challenge the systems and cultures that allowed a predator to go unchecked for so many years. After all, the injustices that had come to light with the MeToo movement were innumerable. Women had risen up and mobilized the world over to fight for equality, dignity and freedom from sexual harassment and assault. I was optimistic that we would begin to see our justice system catch up with the current culture."

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:30
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Justice James Burke has ordered Harvey Weinstein be immediately taken into custody, while scheduling the disgraced film producer's sentencing for 11 March.

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:40
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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has tweeted the following statement following Harvey Weinstein's guilty verdict: "These heroic women broke their silence to hold Harvey Weinstein accountable, and a generation of sexual assault survivors heard their every word."

Chris Riotta24 February 2020 17:50

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