The world is reacting to Harvey Weinstein having been found guilty of rape and sexual assault today, but in the rush of the 24 hour news cycle, it can be difficult to piece together the facts. Here’s the five things you need to know about Harvey Weinstein’s trial and sentencing.
What Was Weinstein Accused of?
Harvey Weinstein has been accused by over 100 women of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and/or rape. He has faced multiple sexual assault and rape charges since May 2018, yet was not convicted until today. During his trial in New York, Weinstein was fighting five charges: two of rape, one of forcible oral sex and two of predatory sexual assault. The latter are the most serious count of predatory sexual assault possible, and carry a potential life sentence.
Who Testified Against Him?
Six women took the stand against Weinstein with their own accounts of his assaults against them in the last three decades. Their names are Annabella Sciorra, Miriam Haley, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, Lauren Young, with one witness remaining unnamed. Three of the witnesses alleged rape against Weinstein.
What Was He Found Guilty Of?
After five days of jury deliberation, Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping ex-actress Jessica Mann in 2013. He was acquitted of the other three charges. The charge of third degree rape carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a requirement of Weinstein to register as a sex offender. The other carries a minimum of five years prison and a maximum of 25.
He will be sentenced on the 11th of March, and is being made to await his punishment in prison. His lawyers have requested that Weinstein is kept in the prison infirmary until then, and have also said that he will appeal the decision.
How Are People Reacting?
Some of Weinstein’s accusers, like Mira Sorvino and Rose McGowan, have taken to Twitter to show support for other survivors.
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) February 24, 2020
Today is a powerful day & a huge step forward in our collective healing
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 24, 2020
Annabella Sciorra released a statement after the verdict, saying that “in speaking truth to power, we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women.” Weinstein was not convicted with her rape.
While many are celebrating the sentencing, some are rightly reminding people that the MeToo movement did not start with Weinstein, nor will it end with him.
I don’t see one man’s conviction a victory for the #MeToo movement. We need to be very careful to not inflate what his conviction means. Convicting a rapist doesn’t address the myriad of ways victims still need resources and support–esp after going through the trauma of trial. https://t.co/3Scnmbbxjo
— Wagatwe Wanjuki 🇰🇪 🇧🇸 (@wagatwe) February 24, 2020
It’s important to look out for the people around you- many survivors will be having complicated and potentially distressing feelings today, so check in with your friends.
1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732
Women’s Crisis Line: 1800 811 811
Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
NSW Domestic Violence Line: 1800 656 463
Qld DV Connect Womensline: 1800 811 811
Vic Safe Steps crisis response line: 1800 015 188
ACT 24/7 Crisis Line: (02) 6280 0900
Tas Family Violence Counselling and Support Service: 1800 608 122
SA Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 800 098
WA Women’s Domestic Violence 24h Helpline: 1800 007 339
NT Domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732
Image Sources: Twitter, Jane Rosenberg