Harvey Weinstein Convicted of Three Sex Crimes

From a Wall Street Journal story by Christine Mai-Duc and Erich Schwartzel headlined “Harvey Weinstein Convicted of Three Sex Crimes in California”:

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday of three counts of sexual assault and related crimes in Los Angeles and acquitted of another. The jury failed to reach a verdict on three other counts.

Mr. Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in the movie business, was convicted of forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration with a foreign object, and rape, all against the same woman. He was acquitted of one count of sexual battery by restraint against a different woman.

The charges on which the jury didn’t reach a verdict include additional counts of sexual battery by restraint, forcible oral copulation and rape against two additional women.

Mr. Weinstein is already a convicted sex offender, having been found guilty of rape and criminal sexual assault in 2020 in New York. During that trial, he was acquitted of charges related to predatory sexual assault.

He could face decades in prison in California, along with the 23 years to which he was sentenced in New York. The jury will hear additional arguments Tuesday that could help determine the length of his sentence in California.

One of the accusers whose charge against Mr. Weinstein wasn’t decided by the jury was Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In a statement, Ms. Siebel Newsom said, “Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs.”

As the co-founder of Miramax and Weinstein Co., Mr. Weinstein patented the art-house hit, producing such movies as “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love,” which racked up awards and box-office sales. He is one of the few modern-day producers to have become a household name.

Mr. Weinstein saw his empire collapse following allegations of sexual harassment published in 2017 by the New York Times and the New Yorker. The articles led to a movement known as #MeToo, as women shared stories of sexual assaults in the workplace and beyond.

Mr. Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court involved allegations of sexual assault brought by five women they said occurred between 2004 and 2013. He was initially indicted on 11 counts, but Judge Lisa Lench dismissed four counts—two each of rape and forcible oral copulation—after prosecutors declined to pursue allegations involving a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 5.

Mr. Weinstein, 70 years old, pleaded not guilty. The defense argued that there was no physical evidence and said two of the accusers were lying and the other two were reframing consensual relationships to capitalize on the #MeToo movement.

The trial, which unfolded not far from where Mr. Weinstein once presided over red carpets, became for jurors a tour of the rarefied—and secretive—life the producer once led.

The managing director of the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where several of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged assaults took place, testified that the producer was known to spend dozens of nights at the property each year. A receipt cited by attorneys referred to a room rate of $3,400 a night.

When a witness, a music manager, testified that a model had recounted an assault by Mr. Weinstein, the attorney asked if he had recognized the name.

“Everyone knows who Harvey Weinstein is,” he replied.

Mr. Weinstein, for his part, often sat silently in the courtroom, occasionally whispering to his attorneys. His suit hung on his gaunt frame, and his lawyer repeatedly cited his poor health.

The trial’s most high-profile witness was Ms. Newsom. She testified that Mr. Weinstein raped her nearly 20 years ago after the two had met at a party at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Years before she would become known as California’s first partner—a title she adopted after saying “first lady” wasn’t inclusive—Mrs. Siebel Newsom was a working actress and producer. In 2005, she booked a few guest roles on TV and bit parts in independent films when Mr. Weinstein allegedly approached her at a party during the Toronto festival.

“It felt like the Red Sea was parting,” she said, describing how the crowd accommodated Mr. Weinstein’s arrival. “I don’t know if it was deference or fear.”

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