By Dorothy Cummings McLean
Article Source

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of predatory sexual assault and rape.

On Monday morning, a jury of seven men and five women found Weinstein, 67, guilty of two of the five charges for which he had been tried. They deliberated for five days to reach the verdict.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the crucial factors in the case were the testimony of former Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haleyi, who accused Weinstein of criminal sexual assault, and of “aspiring actress,” Jessica Mann, who accused him of rape in the third degree.

Sentencing will take place on a later date.

Weinstein was acquitted of the more serious charges, which included predatory sexual assault, and thus has avoided a life sentence. However, he still faces four charges in Los Angeles County.

The New York native’s hometown trial began on January 6 and included the testimony of six women who swore that the famous producer had sexually assaulted them. Besides Haleyi and Mann, they included actress Annabella Sciorra, who accused Weinstein of rape. The allegations concerned incidents that happened over a thirty-year period.

A total of 28 witnesses gave testimony in the trial.

According to the New York Post, Manhattan Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and co-counsel Meghan Hast argued that Weinstein preyed on vulnerable, naive women who tried to develop professional relationships with him in the hope of furthering their careers.

“To the defendant, it has been said he was the master of his universe and the witnesses here were merely ants that he could step on without consequences,” Illuzzi-Orbon told the Manhattan Supreme Court jury during her closing arguments.

“Moreover, he felt like he had a surefire insurance policy that the witnesses were standing in line to get into his universe,” the prosecutor continued.

“‘The universe is run by me’ and therefore they don’t get to complain when they’re stepped on, spit on, demoralized and raped and abused by the defendant.”

According to the BBC, Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 80 women. By 2013, Weinstein’s misconduct was apparently an open secret to the glitterati of the entertainment industry.

Weinstein’s alleged crimes were first exposed in the press by journalists for the New York Times on October 5, 2017.

Fired from his own company and banished from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Weinstein now faces a possible prison sentence of 25 years.

Besides his career as an Oscar-winning producer, Weinstein was known for his political activity on behalf of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He was working on a documentary about Clinton until the sexual assault allegations came to light.

He pledged a $100,000 donation to abortion giant Planned Parenthood in May 2017. The abortion company denies that Weinstein ever fulfilled that pledge.