Women Who Accused Harvey Weinstein Hail Guilty Verdict

Women Who Accused Harvey Weinstein Hail Guilty Verdict

Women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment celebrated the verdict in his trial on Monday, after a jury in New York found him guilty of criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

Mr. Weinstein, 67, a once-powerful Hollywood producer, had been on trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan for over a month. He had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Some were disappointed with the jury’s decision to acquit him of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charge he faced. Though he was charged in connection with the accounts presented by two women, four others were allowed to testify to establish a pattern of behavior.

The actress Ashley Judd was among the first to go on the record for The New York Times’s 2017 investigation of Mr. Weinstein’s behavior with women. She said that two decades ago he invited her to his hotel room for what she expected to be a business meeting only to greet her in a bathrobe and ask her if he could give her a massage or if she would watch him shower.

Shortly after the verdict Monday, she wrote on Twitter, “For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you.”

Another early accuser, the Italian actress and director Asia Argento, posted her response on Instagram a few minutes after the verdict. “Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist,” she wrote under a photo with another woman. “Two survivors cry and celebrate. Thank you God.”

The actress Rosanna Arquette, who said that Mr. Weinstein pulled her hand toward his crotch in a hotel room in the 1990s, wrote on Twitter, “Gratitude to the brave women who’ve testified and to the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense.”

“We will change the laws in the future so that rape victims are heard and not discredited and so that it’s easier for people to report their rapes,” she added.

Some politicians and advocacy groups hailed the verdict, calling it a sign of progress — proof that as more survivors spoke out, they could achieve results in the justice system.

Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, called the verdict “a victory for the brave survivors,” adding, “we can’t let up in our fight to lift up survivors and hold predators who abuse their power fully accountable.”

Melissa Silverstein, the founder of the advocacy group Women and Hollywood, said Mr. Weinstein “is finally going to pay for something.”

“This is a day many people never thought would arrive,” she wrote on Twitter. “And this is because the women stood up and said no more.”

In 2017, The Times published an investigation detailing the accounts of several women who claimed that Mr. Weinstein had abused or harassed them in incidents as far back as the 1990s. More coverage followed, including an article about more women who were accusing Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

The articles added momentum to the #MeToo movement and put pressure on the authorities to investigate Mr. Weinstein. “The world changed in 2017, but now there is accountability,” Ms. Silverstein said. “You can lose everything. You can go to jail.”

The National Women’s Law Center said that the verdict gave survivors a measure of justice.

“Our collective power, and this movement to end sexual violence in our workplaces, our schools, the streets, in every corner of our lives, is unstoppable,” it said on Twitter. “In the last two years, states have passed new policies to prevent sexual harassment. Workers in every industry have come forward. Make no mistake: This movement is changing the world.”

Women in Film, the nonprofit organization that supports women in the film industry, pointed readers to its help line, and said that the verdict was a “long overdue step towards justice for women who have, for years, silently shouldered workplace sexual harassment and assault without recourse.”

The rights group Equality Now said the verdict was an affirmation of the #MeToo movement.

But many also criticized what did not happen.

Soon after the verdict, the phrase “not guilty” began trending on Twitter. Many of the tweets expressed outrage that Mr. Weinstein had been acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charge against him. The writer Jessica Valenti said that she was “gutted for” Annabella Sciorra, an actress from “The Sopranos” who had testified during the trial that Mr. Weinstein had raped her.

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