Los Angeles trial verdict: Harvey Weinstein found guilty on 3 of 7 charges
A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:
Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of 3 of 7 charges in a sex crimes trial in Los Angeles.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And as for the others, the jury could not reach an agreement on three charges and acquitted Weinstein on another.
MARTÍNEZ: NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports this was his second rape conviction. She joins us now. And one note - this conversation will discuss rape and assault. Mandalit, it's a split verdict. Why wasn't it a slam dunk?
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Well, you know, A, the jury of eight men and four women found Harvey Weinstein guilty of raping and sexually assaulting one woman, but they acquitted him on another woman completely. And after deliberating for 10 days, they couldn't come to a decision on charges related to two other women at all, and the judge declared a mistrial on those counts. You know, a case like this is very hard to win. And even though we've read so much about Harvey Weinstein in the news, despite the Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigations and documentaries and feature films about him and despite the fact that he was the original villain of and kicked off the entire #MeToo movement, well, that's not what was tried in court.
More than 100 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. In court, he was called a predator and a monster who lured women to hotel rooms for his attacks. Harvey Weinstein did not take the stand, but his lawyers worked very hard to convince the jury that these were all consensual affairs - that the women had engaged in so-called transactional sex to get ahead in Hollywood, and they said that Harvey Weinstein was simply part of the casting couch culture.
MARTÍNEZ: OK. Now, what are the victims and their lawyers saying?
DEL BARCO: Well, the jury found Weinstein guilty of all three charges related to a model and actress identified only as Jane Doe. And after the verdict, she told news outlets that Weinstein forever destroyed her the night he raped her after a film festival in 2013. In a statement, she said, quote, "I hope Weinstein never sees the outside of a prison cell during his lifetime."
Now, another of his accusers was Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California's governor. She said in a statement that, quote, "throughout the trial, Weinstein's lawyers used sexism, misogyny and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean and ridicule us survivors." Her attorney, Beth Fegan, told NPR that Newsom and another accuser she represented were disappointed that Weinstein wasn't found guilty on all counts.
BETH FEGAN: Harvey Weinstein's defense team really took the approach of not defending his actions or explaining why he did what he did, but instead in attacking the women and calling them bimbos. I mean, their testimony was courageous. It was powerful. It was incredibly emotional. And the defense team's attack on them, attack on their character really exacerbated their trauma.
DEL BARCO: You know, Fegan and Newsom both said the results of this trial is a reminder that society has a lot more work to do to support survivors.
MARTÍNEZ: What happens to Harvey Weinstein now?
DEL BARCO: He faces a possible sentence of 24 years in prison on top of the 23-year sentence he's already serving for his rape conviction in New York. That's something he's now appealing. On the other hand, Harvey Weinstein is 70 years old. He's not doing well physically, and he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Mandalit del Barco in Los Angeles. Mandalit, thanks.
DEL BARCO: Thank you.
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