Story by Colleen Fitzpatrick (News Writer)
On February 24th, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of 2 out of 5 felonies in New York. Harvey Weinstein is an American film producer who founded the entertainment company Miramax with his Brother. Miramax has put out such movies as Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love. In October of 2017, Weinstein was accused by multiple women of sexual abuse. By October 2017, more than 80 women were accusing him. On May 25th, 2018, Weinstein was arrested in New York and charged with rape. He is being charged with rape in two states, New York and California. His trial began on January 6th, 2020, and ended on February 24th. The jury of twelve that worked on the case reported that they got so stressed throughout the 26 hours they discussed the accusations, that they got sick. As the jury was discussing Miriam Haley’s story, they told the New York Times that she convincingly remembered details from the incident, such as children’s drawings on the wall.
Out of the 80 plus accusations, only five ended up in court. The New York Times wrote an article on what it was like inside the jury room. They wrote about how the Jury felt on Miriam Haley’s case. “One juror said Ms. Haley had convincingly remembered details like the children’s drawings on the wall of the room in Mr. Weinstein’s Lower Manhattan loft, where she said the producer had held her down and forcibly performed sexual acts on her in 2006 while she protested. The jury asked to see the floor plan of the apartment and listened again to her testimony, concluding that the evidence corroborated her account” (Jan Ransom, Sharon Otterman and Laura Dimon, NY Times). The Jury agreed that Ms. Haley’s story was credible. One juror told NY Times that they believed that it was unwise for her to go into Weinstein’s car after he repeatedly made sexual advances, that does not excuse a sexual assault.
Weinstein’s ex-wife Georgia Chapman divorced Weinstein days after the New York Times published their article on the reported sexual abuse. Weinstein and Chapman had two children together and she told one magazine that she was scared for her children’s futures. Weinstein is due to be sentenced on March 11. He is being convicted on two counts: criminal sex act, and third-degree rape. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 29 years in prison. Weinstein still faces charges in California that he raped a woman at a Los Angeles hotel in 2013, then the following night he sexually assaulted a different woman in a Beverly Hills hotel.
I asked a peer what their views are on the Weinstein trial. They said, “I think he got what he deserved. Weinstein is an awful being, and should be put in jail.” I also asked them how they felt for Miriam Haley, they said, “I feel awful for her. Many people didn’t even believe her, although her story had many compelling details.” In conclusion, Harvey Weinstein was charged on multiple criminal sex acts, and is still facing charges in California.