Harvey Weinstein trial: Guilty of rape and criminal sexual act, but acquitted of top sex charges – CNBC

Film producer Harvey Weinsten was found guilty of rape and a criminal sexual act on Monday, more than two years after news articles about his alleged serial sexual abuse of women ignited the MeToo movement.

But Weinstein, 67, was found not guilty in Manhattan court of the most serious charges in the case, two counts of predatory sexual assault, charges for which he had faced a possible life sentence in prison.

He also was acquitted of first-degree rape by the jury of seven men and five women, who had deliberated in the case for a little less than 27 hours.

Weinstein was surrounded by court officers during the reading of the verdict, and kept a stoic look on his face as each of the counts were announced.

Weinstein, who had been free on bond during the trial, was handcuffed and ordered held without bail in jail pending his sentencing by Judge James Burke on March 11.

“Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose office prosecuted the case, and who was in the courtroom during the verdict’s announcement.

“These women were not just brave, they were heroic,” Vance said of the women who testified against the movie mogul.

Scores of other women in the past several years have publicly claimed Weinstein abused them.

Weinstein faces a sentence of between five and 25 years in prison for the conviction of first-degree criminal sexual act, which relates to the claim that forcibly performed oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.

The charge of third-degree rape that Weinstein was convicted of relates to the claim that he attacked aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in Manhattan in 2013. That charge has a maximum possible sentence of four year in prison.

Weinstein also faces criminal charges in Los Angeles, where prosecutors last month accused him of raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second woman over a two-day period in 2013.

A group of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual abuse, who call themselves the Silence Breakers, in a statement said,  “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.”

“This conviction would not be possible without the testimony of the courageous women and the many women who have spoken out,” the group said.

“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.”

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein (R) enters New York City Criminal Court on February 24, 2020 in New York City.

Scott Heins | Getty Images

On Friday afternoon, jurors were told by the judge to keep deliberating after they suggested in a note they were hung on the most serious charges, of predatory sexual assault, in the case.

Jurors had told Burke in a note, “We the jury request to understand if we can be hung on 1 and or 3 but unanimous on the others.”

Counts 1 and 3 are charges of predatory sexual assault, which related to allegations by Mann and Haley.

Count 2 is criminal sexual act in the first degree, count 4 is rape in the first degree, and count 5 is rape in the third degree.

After their note, Burke instructed the jurors that any verdict that they returned must be unanimous and that if they cannot be unanimous on a specific criminal count then they cannot return a verdict for that count.

The “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra testified during the trial that Weinstein raped her in her apartment in either late 1993 or early 1994.

Weinstein was not charged in the case with raping Sciorra.

But her testimony, along with that of five other women, was permitted by the judge in order to allow prosecutors to show a pattern of conduct by Weinstein to prove the claim that he was guilty of predatory sexual assault against Mann and Haley.

Jurors requested read-backs of Sciorra’s testimony last week, before they indicated in their note to Burke that they were deadlocked on those top criminal counts. Weinstein’s acquittal on those counts on Monday suggests that some jurors had problems with Sciorra’s account.

Jury deliberations in the case began last Tuesday morning.

Weinstein did not testify at the trial.

Weinstein for years was one of Hollywood’s powerful men, having backed a long string of financially successful and critically acclaimed movies such as “Shakespeare in Love” and “Gangs of New York.”

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