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Criminal Justice

Jury Finds Harvey Weinstein Guilty of Rape in Los Angeles Trial That Followed NY Conviction

Harvey Weinstein, light-skilled with grey hair, looking haggard but wearing a suit, looks toward the camera while in court.
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles in November.
(Etienne Laurent
Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
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A Los Angeles jury found Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape on Monday, the second such conviction following his 2020 conviction of raping and assaulting other women.

The panel of nine men and three women began deliberations on Dec. 2, following five weeks of testimony involving more than 40 witnesses. The verdict came on the 10th day of deliberations, but Weinstein was not found guilty on many counts.

Weinstein was found guilty of rape, forced oral copulation and another sexual misconduct count involving one woman identified as Jane Doe 1. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on several counts, including those tied to Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The jury also could not reach verdicts in allegations brought by another woman, and acquitted Weinstein of sexual battery allegation made by another woman.

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About The Testimony

Those taking the stand included documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who testified in court that Weinstein raped her when she was a young actress.

The former Miramax mogul and Oscar-winning producer initially had been charged with 11 counts of rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual battery involving five different women, ranging between 2004 and 2013.

When one alleged victim declined to testify, the charges against Weinstein were reduced to two counts each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual battery, along with one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object.

The jury did convict in the case of Jane Doe No. 1, who is a foreign actress and the first prosecution witness. She said that she attended the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival in 2013, and had met Weinstein only briefly when he showed up at her hotel room and forced his way inside, even though she said she had not given Weinstein the name of the place where she was staying. 

“I was really confused. I didn’t understand what was going on … I remember thinking, ‘Did he follow me?’” she testified.

She told the jury she asked Weinstein to leave, and showed him pictures of her children to try to fend him off but Weinstein only became more aggressive.

“He was giving me orders … I was crying repeatedly, saying, ‘No, no, no, no.,’” she testified. She said Weinstein bent her over the bathroom sink and raped her.  “He asked me if I liked it. I wanted to die.”

The #MeToo Backstory

The verdict comes a little more than five years after The New York Times and The New Yorker reported on Weinstein’s long history of sexual assaults, detailing how a web of lawyers, spies and human resource officers threatened victims and enabled Weinstein to continue preying on women, many of whom feared their careers would be ruined if they spoke out.

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Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence in New York, where he was found guilty in 2020 of raping other women. Any sentence given by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench to the 70-year-old Weinstein would be added to his New York term. The statutory maximum sentence for the Los Angeles charges is 60 years, but the term could be less than that.

The Weinstein verdict comes after the Nov. 30 mistrial in a rape case against actor Danny Masterson (That ‘70s Show, The Ranch), whose trial was in the same criminal courts building as Weinstein’s. The Masterson jury said it deadlocked over charges Masterson raped three women at his Hollywood Hills home about 20 years ago.

What Weinstein's Attorneys Said In Court

Weinstein did not testify during the trial. His defense attorneys said the encounters were “consensual” and that the women exchanged sex for career advancement.

In his opening statement, Weinstein defense lawyer Mark Werksman said that even if sex with Weinstein might have been “unpleasant” and “embarrassing” for the women who were testifying against Weinstein, it was all “transactional.” The women had “consensual sex with Mr. Weinstein because they wanted to exploit their connection with Mr. Weinstein,” Werksman said.

He also told the jury early that Newsom was a “Hollywood wannabe,” and had she not married Gov. Gavin Newsom, Werksman said, “She’d be just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead.”

Weinstein’s lawyers also noted that several of the victims, including Newsom, reached out to and met with Weinstein after the alleged assaults, proof that the sex was consensual.

The Prosecutor's Case

Prosecutors told a different story.

In her closing arguments, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez said, “There is no question that Harvey Weinstein was a predator. For this predator, hotels were his trap. Confined within those walls, victims were not able to run from his hulking mass. People were not able to hear their screams.”

Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said that the eight women who testified against Weinstein all told nearly identical stories of Weinstein’s tactics (four women whose alleged assaults were not part of the Los Angeles charges testified as “prior bad act witnesses” against Weinstein).

“You can tell from the pattern,” Thompson said, “that Weinstein raped the women who testified in this case.”

Survivor Resources

If you need help
  • LA County Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence Hotline: 1-800-978-3600 (24/7)

    • Help is available in multiple languages. They can connect you with emergency shelter, counseling services, and more.
  • LA County Dating Violence and Domestic Violence Resources

    • Access shelter hotline numbers, legal service providers and a resource book called “Reaching Out” which can be printed in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Armenian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese).
  • LA County Dating Violence and Domestic Violence Resources

    • This is a big list of dating violence and domestic violence agencies in Los Angeles County who support survivors and their families. “(SP)” next to the name of the agency represents that they have shelter programs.
  • Peace Over Violence

    • Connect with crisis intervention services, one-on-one counseling, and violence prevention education.
  • LA County Domestic Violence Shelter Hotlines

    • This is a big list of shelters you can call ranging from Long Beach, to San Gabriel Valley, and more.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline

    • You can chat on the site, text “START” to 88788, or call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY:1-800-799-3224) for help.
What questions do you have about film, TV, music, or arts and entertainment?
John Horn, entertainment reporter and host of our weekly podcast Retake, explores whether the stories that Hollywood tells about itself really reflect what's going on?

Updated December 19, 2022 at 5:10 PM PST
This story updated with additional details of Jane Doe #1's testimony.