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#MeToo: Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of Rape

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Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted in New York City of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act.

The 67-year-old was cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

Harvey Weinstein still faces charges in Los Angeles of assaulting two women in 2013.

At least 80 women had accused him of misconduct stretching back decades, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.

The allegations were at the center of the #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men.

Haevey Weinstein once enjoyed phenomenal success with Oscar winners such Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, The King’s Speech and Shakespeare in Love.

The jury of seven men and five women reached their verdict on February 24, the fifth day of deliberations.

Harvey Weinstein – who denied all charges – was convicted of assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, in 2013. The judge ordered him sent to jail immediately.

However, the jury acquitted him on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a potential life sentence, and first-degree rape of Jessica Mann.

In the minutes after the verdict, Harvey Weinstein showed no emotion as he talked to his lead lawyer Donna Rotunno. He will be sentenced on March 11.

The third-degree rape charge in New York is defined as engaging in intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent, or under age 17, or who has not given consent for a reason other than the inability to consent.

Prosecutors portrayed Harvey Weinstein as a serial predator who used his position of power in Hollywood to manipulate and attack women.

The defense team said intercourse between Harvey Weinstein and the accusers was consensual, and that the accusers used the relations to advance their careers. The allegations amounted to “regret renamed as rape”, the defense said. Two of the accusers kept in contact with Harvey Weinstein and had intimate relations with him after the alleged attacks, they pointed out.

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Mimi Haleyi, who had worked on one of Harvey Weinstein’s TV productions, said she was assaulted by the producer after he invited her to his Lower Manhattan home.

Jessica Mann said that she found herself in an “extremely degrading” relationship with him that did not involve intercourse until he raped her in a New York City hotel room in 2013.

She said he was a “Jekyll and Hyde” figure who could be charming in public but showed his dark side when they were alone.

Another one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, actress Annabella Sciorra, told jurors he raped her in her apartment one night in the mid-1990s.

Her allegation was too old to be charged as a separate crime, but prosecutors used it in an attempt to demonstrate that the accused was a repeat offender.

Following the verdict, Annabella Sciorra said: “I spoke for myself and with the strength of the 80-plus victims of Harvey Weinstein in my heart.”

Three other also women testified they were lured to apparent work meetings with Harvey Weinstein, then assaulted.

Donna Rotunno told reporters outside the courthouse: “The fight is not over…Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man and he knows we will continue to fight for him and he knows that this is not over.”

The lawyer said her client was disappointed, but “mentally tough”.