Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein — found guilty Monday of rape and felony sex crime counts in New York — still faces serious charges in Los Angeles that could land him a longer prison sentence.
Weinstein, 69, was acquitted of the most serious New York charges — two counts of predatory sexual assault and one of first-degree rape. The rape conviction was a third-degree count.
The Manhattan D.A., Cyrus Vance, said the conviction on the top count would land the defendant behind bars for at least five years and as many as 25.
“Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator, who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims,” Vance said in a statement issued after the verdict.
In Los Angeles, Weinstein faces charges of rape, oral copulation, sexual penetration by force and sexual battery by restraint.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office declined to comment on the New York verdict. However, when the Los Angeles case was filed, she said Weinstein could face up to 28 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
No date has been set for his arraignment in Los Angeles.
The seven-man, five-woman New York jury deliberated for about 22 hours — and at one point indicated that they might be deadlocked — before returning with the guilty verdicts for crimes committed against two of the six women who testified that Weinstein had assaulted them.
Had the jury also found the one-time Hollywood mogul guilty of predatory sexual assault in the alleged attack on actress Annabella Sciorra, he could have been sentenced to 10 years to life in prison. But they acquitted Weinstein on those two charges.
The defense argued repeatedly that all of the sex was consensual. However, Weinstein did not testify in his own defense.
Weinstein was taken into custody to await sentencing in New York on March 11. His attorney has said she will appeal the jury’s decision.
Experts told the Los Angeles Times they thought the New York verdict would make the Los Angeles case easier to prosecute.
“This is very bad news for Harvey Weinstein,” USC law professor Susan Estrich told the newspaper. “The defense Weinstein tried to use failed. And if it didn’t fly in New York for rape, it is not going to fly in California for sexual battery.”
Lauren Young, one of the two women alleging assault in the Los Angeles case, also testified in Manhattan. Her account was challenged by another woman Young accused of helping trap her in a bathroom with Weinstein.
“That never happened,” Claudia Salinas told jurors.
Despite the conflicting testimony, one attorney said the New York conviction confirms that Weinstein used force, which could help support the West Coast case.
“If that’s admissible as proof, it’s a difficult fact to overcome,” New York attorney Paul DerOhannesian told The Times.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said the actors’ union was looking ahead to the Los Angeles case.
“Justice was served today and Harvey Weinstein was held accountable for his crimes. But it is only a beginning. We look forward to the Weinstein prosecution in Los Angeles, where he will be brought to answer for other offenses,” she said.
“`We hail the courage and conviction of the powerful survivors who brought this case to trial and saw it through to the verdict,” Carteris added. “This verdict sends a thunderous message to other harassers and abusers: You can’t run and you can’t hide any longer. Increasingly, if you harass or abuse, you will be reported, you will get caught and you will be prosecuted.”
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