Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein found guilty of criminal sex act and rape
Harvey Weinstein was convicted of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree involving one woman and rape in the third degree involving another.
He was acquitted of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault involving the two women and one count of first-degree rape.
The verdict was hailed as as important turning point in the #MeToo movement, but Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys called it a failure of the justice system and said their client never had a chance at a fair trial.
The disgraced movie mogul faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of more than two decades in prison.
He was handcuffed and taken into custody after the New York jury’s verdict.
“This is a big day. This is a new day,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.
“This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America, I believe, and this is a new day. It is a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed.”
Rotunno told CNN’s Jean Casarez that when the verdict was read, Weinstein was “as strong as he’s ever been.”
“Obviously he is disappointed and obviously he has maintained his innocence from the beginning.”
She said in an exclusive CNN interview that she was troubled by the result.
“I saw (Vance’s statement) and I think that it’s frightening to think about a new dawn in the criminal justice system that doesn’t have changes,” she told Casarez.
Rotunno added that the justice system relies on the rights of citizens to due process and the presumption of innocence.
“And if this notion is to just start believing people just because they make claims, I think that challenges the criminal justice system as we know it and I think for anybody charged in these types of crimes, that’s a scary proposition,” she said.
Women came forward in stories by The New Yorker and The New York Times with allegations against Weinstein. Actress Alyssa Milano asked Twitter users to tell their stories and use the #MeToo hashtag.
The #MeToo movement was founded in 2006 by activist and writer Tarana Burke.
Burke tweeted Monday that Weinstein’s convictions would not have been possible “without the voices of the silence breakers in and outside the courtroom” and the “survivors who courageously testified” against him.