By now, most people have been exposed to what was the seemingly constant drumbeat of the recent Harvey Weinstein sex assault trial and convictions. What’s interrupted this, of course, has been the media overkill on Coronavirus, but if that hadn’t diverted their attention, they’d still be pounding this drum. For those of you who have forgotten the details, Weinstein faced several sex assault charges: 1) One count of first-degree criminal sexual act, two separate counts of rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault. The charges were brought in state Supreme Court in New York.
Weinstein was convicted on two counts: Committing a first-degree criminal sex act involving one woman, and of rape in the third degree concerning someone else. He was acquitted of the charges of predatory sexual assault involving the two women and also acquitted of the one count of first-degree rape.
The charges and convictions were based on testimony by two actresses: Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, who wanted to perform in films that Weinstein’s company was producing. Haley testified that in 2006 Weinstein forced oral sex on her, and Mann testified that Weinstein raped her in 2013, in the context of what she described as an abusive relationship. Four other women, including actress Annabella Sciorra, also testified that Weinstein “sexually attacked” them, as part of his alleged attempts to use his influence in Hollywood in order to leverage sexual liaisons with current or aspiring actresses.