Well, in case you have not heard, and you would have to be living under a rock not to, Harvey Weinstein, the impetus for the #MeToo movement was convicted on two charges, including rape. Weinstein appeared old and battered as he painfully moved through the courtroom with the help of his walker to receive his sentence.
While the conviction is chewing up all the headlines, Weinstein was also acquitted of two more serious charges. Nonetheless, he could face up to 29 years in prison. At 67 years of age, that is practically a life sentence.
Weinstein was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, each of which could have carried a life sentence. Those counts hinged on the testimony of popular Italian-American actress Annabella Sciorra, who told the jury that Weinstein had barged his way into her apartment and forcibly raped her. The testimony was supposed to provide evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct going back several years.
Donna Rotunno, the now-infamous attorney who defended Weinstein, said she would appeal the charges, but it is not entirely clear as of yet on what grounds.
Weinstein Will be Held at Rikers Island
Weinstein was ordered taken from the courthouse to Bellevue Hospital by ambulance. He was strapped to a gurney still wearing his suit and will be held in a locked ward pending his sentencing. The judge said that he will ask if Weinstein can be held at Rikers Island infirmary while awaiting his sentencing. Weinstein’s attorneys claim that he needs medical attention after an unsuccessful back surgery.
According to Donna Rotunno, Weinstein was headed to Rikers Island before being diverted to Bellevue after he complained of heart palpitations.
What Will Harvey Weinstein’s Sentence be?
Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault, which carries a maximum 25-year sentence. He was also found guilty on the third-degree rape charge, which has a maximum sentence of four years. The jury acquitted Weinstein of first-degree rape which requires that the prosecution either prove that physical force was used or that there was an implicit or explicit threat of physical force.
Over 90 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and Weinstein’s sexual behavior was an open secret in Hollywood for years before anyone came forward. In the midst of decades’ worth of allegations, the #MeToo movement formed to encourage women to come forward with allegations against powerful men. Many of the women who came forward with allegations against Weinstein are no longer able to have their cases prosecuted as the statute of limitations has elapsed on those charges.
While for many it may be an instance of too little being done too late, the victims can have some solace in the fact that Weinstein was convicted and will face the consequences of that conviction.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a sex crime in the Chicago area, contact David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 before you discuss the matter with police. You have rights against self-incrimination, unlawful search and seizure, and a right to a fair trial. Call today and learn more about how we can help.