Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. On Monday, the jury delivered a guilty verdict on two of the charges he faced, third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act.
Weinstein was acquitted of three other charges, the more serious offenses addressed in the trial. Among those charges were two counts of predatory sexual assault.
After the trial concluded, Weinstein was immediately remanded into custody. He will remain in jail until his sentencing on March 11. Until today, Weinstein was out on bail.
The trial was, as expected, a media frenzy. When a litany of Hollywood actresses accuse a rich and famous public figure of such atrocities, it’s a foregone conclusion. The highly public nature of the trial complicated everything, down to the jury selection.
Some of the most major and talked about moments in the trial came from the shocking testimony of Jessica Mann. The former actress testified against Weinstein in excruciating detail, and that testimony dominated headlines all day that day.
Another significant moment came Friday when the jury indicated that they were deadlocked on the more serious charges Weinstein faced. Many speculated that this would lead to an eventual not-guilty verdict, or that the jury would be unable to decide on the most serious charges.
After all the drama, tears, and a massive movement against sexual assault, the #MeToo movement, Harvey Weinstein is officially a convicted rapist. He is facing up to 25 years in prison. If the jury convicted Weinstein of all charges, he could have faced life in prison.
What Weinstein’s Conviction Means For The Movement
In response to the Weinstein verdict, Tina Tchen, CEO of the Time’s Up Foundation, released a statement saying,
“This trial — and the jury’s decision today — marks a new era of justice, not just for the Silence Breakers, who spoke out at great personal risk, but for all survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault at work. We owe a debt of gratitude to Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, Lauren Young, and all the Silence Breakers for their bravery and resolve as they faced this man in court. We continue to believe them — all of them — and continue to be in solidarity with them.
The Time’s Up Movement sprung from the accusations against Weinstein. The accusations began a wide-sweeping reckoning against sexual assault, in the form of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. The guilty verdict today means that that movement really has done something to hold predators and abusers accountable for their behavior.
The justice system is holding Weinstein accountable, at least in part. That means hope for the future of the #MeToo movement. It means that wealthy and powerful men can no longer abuse indiscriminately and escape all consequences.
The Fight Isn’t Over
Since the beginning of the movement, thousands of other women have come forth with their stories of assault. This verdict means all those women have hope for justice. It means that when women band together to fight injustice, it works. That fight, however, is far from over.
In her statement, Tchen continued,
“While we celebrate this historic moment, our fight to fix the broken system that has allowed serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein to abuse women in the first place continues. Abusers everywhere and the powerful forces that protect them should be on notice: There’s no going back.”
While Weinstein is currently sitting in a cell, it’s important to remember the many victims of Weinstein and men like him who did not get their stories heard in the courtroom, who did not get the validation of a guilty verdict.
It’s also important to remember, as Ronan Farrow, the journalists responsible for originally exposing Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, says in a Tweet, the women who made this possible at great personal cost. It is not easy to accuse any man publicly, not to mention a man as famous and well-connected as Harvey Weinstein.
What Comes Next
The Weinstein saga isn’t quite over yet. He still faces a sentencing hearing in New York, followed by another trial. The former movie producer is also facing four counts of felony sexual assault in Los Angeles.
Regardless of what happens at sentencing, or at the next trial in LA, Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist, and we’ll all remember it.