What Weinstein Told His Lawyers After Convictions

'I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2020 1:54 PM CST
What Weinstein Told His Lawyers After Convictions
Jurors are escorted from the courthouse after a verdict in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial Monday in New York.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Harvey Weinstein is now in custody after being convicted of sex crimes in a Manhattan courtroom Monday. "Rape is rape," said District Attorney Cyrus Vance after the verdict, whether it's committed "in a dark alley by a stranger" or by "a man of immense power and privilege," per Deadline. Vance thanked the six "heroic" women who testified during the trial of the man he called a "vicious, serial sexual predator." Coverage:

  • Jail time: Weinstein was found guilty of two charges that carry a combined maximum penalty of 29 years. But it's also possible the 67-year-old could get as little as 5 years when he's sentenced next month, reports CNN.
  • Appeal? Yes, it's coming. “Harvey is unbelievably strong," said defense attorney Donna Rotunno. "He took it like a man, (and) he knows that we will continue to fight for him." Another member of the defense team, Arthur Aidala, quoted Weinstein as telling them: "I'm innocent. I'm innocent. I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?" Weinstein was ordered into custody immediately, but Aidala said Weinstein will be going to "more of a hospital than a jail," reports the New York Times. He reportedly had back surgery recently.

  • The convictions: Weinstein was convicted of a criminal sexual act in the first degree against production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006, per NBC News; that carries a 5- to 25-year sentence. He also was convicted of rape in the third degree against Jessica Mann, then an aspiring actress, in 2013. That carries a maximum penalty of 4 years, though Weinstein could get probation.
  • The acquittals: Things could have been worse for Weinstein. He was found not guilty of two counts of predatory sexual assault, and each could have landed him life sentences. The convictions hinged on the testimony of Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who accused Weinstein of raping her at her apartment in the 1990s, notes the AP. Predatory convictions required the jury to believe that Weinstein assaulted Sciorra and, later, Haleyi and/or Mann, but jurors signaled Friday they were struggling with the Sciorra allegations.
  • Other trial: Weinstein also faces a criminal trial in California on separate sexual misconduct charges.
(More Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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