Harvey Weinstein Verdict: The Women That Testified

On February 24, 2020, after five days of deliberation by the jury, the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and of third-degree rape while being acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault. The allegations that served as the basis for these charges were from former Weinstein Co. production assistant Mimi Haley and former aspiring actress Jessica Mann. The heavily publicized trial finally reached these verdicts after years of allegations and evidence surrounding Weinstein’s sexual misconduct were revealed. Multiple women, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, provided harrowing accounts that described the vile and predatory behavior of Weinstein back in a 2017 New York Times article. As the years progressed, more women came forward and shared their stories of the abuse and the harassment they endured. Weinstein faces up to 29 years in prison and his sentencing hearing will take place on March 11.  

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Haley testified that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 after she repeatedly had said no. She stated that “He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering. He then orally forced himself on me.” Haley’s testimony related to the predatory sexual assault charge and the criminal sexual act in the first-degree charge. Mann, who met Weinstein in Los Angeles when she was 25, testified that he raped her in a hotel room in 2013. 

Additionally to Haleyi and Mann, other women testified against Weinstein, including Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young. Sciorra, an actress from the television series The Sopranos and the films Jungle Fever and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, provided testimony that was not related to the charges issued against Weinstein but instead established a pattern of predatory behavior. Sciorra’s testimony revealed an alleged attack against her where she claims Weinstein raped her in 1993 and continued to sexually harass her in the following years. Similar to Sciorra, Dunning, Wulff and Young also testified to show a pattern of sexual abuse, known as Molineux witnesses in New York state.

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Dunning, a costume designer, claimed that Weinstein sexually harassed her and attempted to pressure her into a threesome in exchange for acting contracts back in 2004. Dunning testified that after Weinstein opened the door in nothing but a bathrobe and made inappropriate sexual propositions, she ran out of the room, never spoke to Weinstein again and quit acting. Wulff, another aspiring at the time, alleges Weinstein masturbated in front of her while she served as a cocktail waitress at a Manhattan restaurant Weinstein frequented in 2005. Afterwards, she saw Weinstein again at what was supposed to be a professional meeting and this is where he raped her. The last witness, Lauren Young, was 22 when she met Weinstein in 2012 at a dinner event. Next year, she had a professional meeting with Weinstein where they were going to discuss a script she had been writing. However, Weinstein trapped her in the bathroom and masturbated in front of her. The brave testimonies of these six women were crucial in order to secure a conviction and ensure Weinstein would face consequences for his deplorable and evil behavior.