After weeks of harrowing testimony, the trial of former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein concludes with a guilty verdict. The jury convicted him of two sex crimes. The charges, criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, relate to his abuse of 2 of the 6 women that testified.
A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for five days before arriving at their verdict. They did not find Harvey Weinstein guilty of the most severe charge, rape in the first degree. That carries the possibility of life imprisonment.
As reported by USA Today, Weinstein listened with mouth agape while the determination of the jury was read aloud.
Following the conclusion of the trial, his defense attorneys filed for mistrial. They cited an anonymous email regarding claims about one of the jurors.
The presiding Judge James Burke denied the request.
Harvey Weinstein Verdict Marks First High Profile #MeToo Conviction
The case against Harvey Weinstein began when publications published researched pieces about his past behavior. Most notably, a damning report written by Ronan Farrow for the New Yorker brought attention to the producer’s history of sexual assault.
While Harvey Weinstein’s persona as a bellicose and arrogant Hollywood elite was considered well-known, revelations about his sexual misconduct appeared less so when revealed to the general public.
As a result, a movement grew out of his condemnation. #MeToo blossomed on platforms like Twitter where individuals shared personal stories of sexual assault in the workplace. As #MeToo caught on, victims outed other abusers in positions of power previously insulated from scrutiny.
While a slew of abusers lost positions or roles as a result of accusations, Harvey Weinstein remains the only high profile #MeToo trial to take place. Another trial for disgraced actor Kevin Spacey derailed after the accuser, a man that worked as a massage therapist for Spacey, died.