A jury has found Harvey Weinstein guilty.
On Monday, February 24, seven men and five women convicted the disgraced movie mogul of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. He faces up to 25 years behind bars. The jury acquitted Weinstein of predatory sexual assault, among other charges.
Weinstein, 67, had been charged with forcibly performing oral sex on Miriam “Mimi” Haley, a former Project Runway production assistant, in 2005, as well as raping hairstylist Jessica Mann in 2013.
Weinstein insisted the incidents were consensual and he had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Defense attorney Donna Rotunno told the court during her closing arguments that Weinstein had fallen victim to an “overzealous prosecution” and the women who claimed he assaulted them were using him “for jobs.”
“In this script, a powerful man is the villain, and he is so unattractive and large that no woman would ever want to sleep with him voluntarily. Regret does not exist in this world, only regret renamed as rape,” she said.
Manhattan Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, however, had told the court that Weinstein was a predator who used naive and vulnerable women.
“When you’re the only one and he’s a giant — not only in his own industry — but he’s someone who gets presidents on the phone and he’s talking to A-listers and people you will never meet in your entire life … you’re really freaking hesitant to report,” Illuzzi-Orbon countered.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, almost 100 women, including including Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow, have stepped forward to accuse Weinstein of harassment and sexual misconduct, sparking the #metoo movement.