Harvey Weinstein, the former entertainment executive and now infamous, alleged rapist, is headed to trial this month over various alleged sex crimes that took place over the last couple of decades. Weinstein’s sexual misconduct cases famously unraveled the entertainment industry in 2017 when dozens of victims spoke up against the now disgraced film industry mogul.
The exposure of the cases fueled both the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that circulated social media and the entertainment industry in recent years, but Weinstein has been quietly awaiting trial since the scandals unraveled years ago.
Weinstein Faces Charges In Los Angeles While Awaiting Trial In New York
As of Monday, Weinstein has been charged with two sex crimes in Los Angels related to two events that took place in February 2013 on consecutive nights with two different victims. Weinstein could face up to 28 years in a state prison if convicted for the crimes which he has been charged for.
“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” said District Attorney Jackie Lacey on Monday, according to NBC.
Regardless of the charges, Weinstein has plead not guilty to all of the accusations against him, which span dozens of women over the course of multiple decades. Some charges against the disgraced film mogul have been dropped as the statute of limitations on them have since expired, but Weinstein still awaits trial for separate charges in New York and Los Angeles.
In New York
Monday marked the start of Mr. Weinsteins trial in New York as the process of selecting a jury for the trial has begun. Once a jury is selected, which could take as long as two weeks to select 12 jurors for the trial, Weinstein faces five charges that could earn him a life-long spot in jail.
Originally Mr. Weinstein wanted the trial to be moved out of New York City, as he argued that the massive media attention of the case would make it nearly impossible for a jury to come to a fair conclusion. The trial, however, will remain in New York City.
While Weinstein faces charges for only five of the sexual misconduct allegations brought against him, dozens of victims have come forward in recent years to detail sexual abuse cases that go back decades. In many cases, Weinstein is being accused of using his power as a high level executive to force himself upon women and take advantage of them—an abuse of power that highlights the issues of sexual misconduct common to Hollywood.
In total, more than 70 women have come forward with allegations against Mr. Weinstein that range from rape and sexual assault to battery. Actress Rose McGowan, who spoke in New York City on Monday at a rally against Weinstein, was one of the first to come forward with allegations back in 2017 when The New York Times ran an expose on the film executive.
Once a jury has been selected for the New York City trial within the next two weeks, the trial against Harvey Weinstein is expected to last as long as six weeks. This trial, specifically, involves five counts of rape, battery, and sexual misconduct.
In many cases, Weinstein allegedly used his power within the industry to promise women lucrative careers in exchange for sex acts, as well as threatening their careers if they did not do as he demanded.
Notable figures like Angelina Jolie and Asia Argento are among just a few of the accusers to come forward with allegations against Weinstein since 2017.