Los Angeles, Dec 21 (UiTV/IANS) – Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault in his two-month Los Angeles trial, but he is vowing to prove his innocence on appeal.
In a statement obtained by ‘Variety’, Weinstein’s spokesperson says he is “disappointed” in the verdict.
A jury on Monday convicted Weinstein on three charges, but, in a split verdict, acquitted Weinstein on another charge. They were also deadlocked on three remaining charges.
The verdict certainly was no clean sweep for the prosecution, but is a major loss for Weinstein, who will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
In addition to his New York conviction in 2020 for which he is already serving a 23-year sentence, Weinstein now faces an addition maximum sentence of 18 to 24 years for the charges on which he was found guilty in his Los Angeles trial — forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and penetration by a foreign object.
“Harvey is obviously disappointed in the verdict. He knows what happened and what never did,” Weinstein’s spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, says in a statement to Variety.
“However, the account of Jane Doe 1 has a strong legal basis for an appeal, as the logistics of the time and location of the alleged incident make no sense. Harvey is grateful for the jury’s work on the other counts and he’s determined to continue his legal challenges in ultimately proving his innocence.”
The three charges on which Weinstein was found guilty all pertained to Jane Doe 1, a European former model-actress who testified that she was raped by Weinstein in February 2013 when she visited Los Angeles to attend the Italia Film Festival.
During cross-examination, Weinstein’s defence aimed to poke holes in her testimony, questioning her on the timeline of events and her whereabouts on the evening she claims she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein in Beverly Hills, California.
During closing arguments, Weinstein’s defense alleged to the jury that Jane Doe # was never in the hotel room that night where she said she was raped.
The Los Angeles trial rested largely on four women, though a total of eight witnesses testified for the prosecution.
The jury acquitted Weinstein on a charge related to Jane Doe 3 and was hung on the charges that stemmed from Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 4.
In other words, the jury only found Weinstein guilty of abusing one woman. However, the breakdown of the verdict (10 to 2 on Jane Doe 2, and 8 to 4 on Jane Doe 4) indicates that the jury was leaning towards convicting Weinstein on the charges that ultimately ended deadlocked with the judge declaring a mistrial.
In New York, Weinstein is currently appealing his conviction for which he is serving a 23-year sentence.
The New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in the state, has agreed to hear the appeal next year, marking a legal victory for Weinstein.