Guilty Verdict in Weinstein Trial a Victory for Survivors

A New York jury has found movie producer Harvey Weinstein guilty on two counts of felony sex crimes involving two different women. Specifically, he was found guilty of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree, which could lead to a prison sentence between five and 25 years; and rape in the third degree, which carries a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison. Weinstein will be sentenced on March 11, 2020.

“We are grateful that Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty and will be punished for at least some of his crimes,” said Scott Berkowitz, RAINN’s president. “We thank the survivors for their strength and resilience in the face of appalling treatment by the defense, which attempted to shift blame to anyone but Weinstein, the perpetrator. We hope that survivors everywhere will feel encouraged to come forward knowing that juries — and society — will believe them.”

“Although this was just one case with just one defendant, the willingness of the jury, the media, and the public to look past the defense’s gross mischaracterizations and flat-out lies about how ‘real’ victims behave and to believe the survivors who came forward shows just how far we have come in recent years,” he said. “We’re hopeful that this case represents a new norm rather than an exception. The country, as a whole, is taking the issue of sexual violence much more seriously than it did even five years ago. And there is much greater public understanding of the nature of these crimes and how perpetrators are able to get away with abuse for so long.”

More than 100 women have come forward since 2017 accusing Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Weinstein faces additional felony criminal charges in Los Angeles; a date for that trial has not yet been set.

RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 23% increase in visitors in the two days after the verdict was announced. “As with other high-profile cases, the media attention surrounding the Weinstein case is leading many more survivors to reach out for help — often for the first time,” said Berkowitz. "Visitors are looking for emotional support, they're looking for someone empathetic who understands and who believes them and who they can talk honestly to."

If you are a survivor of sexual violence, help is available through RAINN’s confidential, 24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or rainn.org.

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