Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal assault on 24th February in a landmark decision in New York. While Weinstein’s conviction represents a major victory in the eyes of the #MeToo movement and for sexual assault survivors, his time in court isn't over. The disgraced movie mogul's New York trial was one of at least two, if not more, trials representing only a fraction of 90+ women who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, assault, and rape.
Although the jury chose to acquit Weinstein in New York of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault, he was found guilty of third-degree rape and criminal sexual acts in the first degree. The state charges against could amount to 29 years in prison, with minimum sentencing of four. Now, according to the Associated Press, Weinstein is being held in a locked unit at Bellevue Hospital after experiencing heart palpitations and high blood pressure. Although he was remanded without bail on Monday, he is expected to be transferred to the Rikers Island infirmary.
But, these setbacks have not affected the Los Angeles trial from moving forward. “We are definitely proceeding,” a representative for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office told The Guardian on Monday following the conviction. Though sentencing for Weinstein’s New York trial is scheduled for March, if he is found guilty for charges in the Los Angeles trial, he could face an additional 28 years in prison.
Throughout this, Weinstein still maintains his innocence. Arthur Aidala, one of Weinstein’s lawyers, quoted him after the conviction as saying, “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?” Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr described the conviction to AP saying it “changed the course of history in the fight against sexual violence” and “pulled our justice system into the 21st century.” Ahead, we've detailed what comes next for Harvey Weinstein following his high-profile Monday conviction.
When is Harvey Weinstein's Los Angeles trial?
There is not yet a set date for Weinstein's Los Angeles trial. He still awaits sentencing in New York which is currently set for 11th March and the LA County District Attorney’s office has not said whether they will pursue immediate extradition and bring Weinstein back to California right after his New York sentencing, according to the Washington Post. It is unlikely but still possible for Weinstein to pursue a plea deal rather than face a second trial. Given that his lawyers are already publicly discussing appealing the New York case, a plea deal seems like an implausible choice.
What are the charges against Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles?
The evening before his New York trial began, Weinstein was charged with sexually assaulting two women on consecutive nights during the week of the 2013 Oscars. Charges brought on by one woman's case include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery. For the second case, Weinstein faces sexual assault charges. If convicted in LA, he could be given up to 28 years in prison on these counts.
Who is involved in Harvey Weinstein's Los Angeles trial?
Two women’s accusations will take centre stage at Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial. Weinstein is charged with raping a woman, who has chosen to remain unnamed, after forcing his way into her hotel room in February 2013. The following night, Weinstein allegedly sexually assaulted Lauren Young, who also told her story during the New York trial as one of three witnesses testifying to “prior bad acts.”
Court documents from the first accuser, who has only been identified as an Italian actress, according to her attorney, David Ring, allege that Weinstein arrived at her hotel uninvited on 18th February 2013. He then allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her. He is also being accused of threatening her life if she told anyone.
Young claims that she agreed to meet Weinstein for a business meeting at his hotel in Beverly Hills the following night. She says she went with an acquaintance. When she entered the bathroom, the acquaintance allegedly closed the door behind her and left, leaving Young with Weinstein. “He stepped in front of me when I went to approach the door with his naked body right in front of me. I felt so trapped,” Young said in court documents. It was there that he allegedly cornered her in the bathroom while he was naked and masturbated as he groped her. “I said, ‘no, no, no’ the whole time.”