Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in the third degree, and a criminal sexual act on Feb. 24. He will receive 23 years in prison, as a result of his hearing March 11.
In 2017, dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse over a span of 30-plus years.
Harvey Weinstein is a former film producer, and co-founder of Miramax, an entertainment company that has produced a variety of independent films including “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love.”
Weinstein has received an Academy Award and seven Tony Awards for his works while working with Miramax. Later, he co-founded the Weinstein Company to continue producing under a smaller film studio.
In October 2017, Weinstein dismissed The Weinstein Company and was forced to leave the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after sexual abuse allegations began to rise. With accounts against Weinstein tallying up to over 80 by the end of October, the #MeToo movement began to flourish.
From October 2017 until May 2018, more allegations surfaced on the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein and his attempts to silence the claims.
From May 2018 until the trial process began in New York on Jan. 6, 2020, Weinstein dealt with more allegations and criminal cases. The trial process began in New York while LA county prosecturors charged Weinstein with rape and sexual assault across the country.
During the trial, six women testified against Weinstein including Annabella Sciorra, Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young. Even though Weinstein was not convicted on charges for all of these cases, Young, Dunning and Wulff’s testimonies were added to build a history of abuse for the producer.
After five days of deliberation for the jury, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting his former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, an ex-actress, in 2013.
After the conviction, the #MeToo movement was elated. Survivors’ voices had been heard in this case, and a new standard in society had been set.
“The conviction of Harvey Weinstein is a win for women everywhere because it shows that no matter how much money or power an abuser has, they can be brought to justice,” freshman Elaine Robbins said.
“I’m glad that he was convicted for his crimes, though, like others, I would’ve liked to see a harsher sentence that included more victims,” Dr. Jennifer Slivka, director of the Women’s Resource Center on campus said.
As the #MeToo movement continues to grow, organizations and universities continue to work on their own programs in order to protect their faculty, staff, and students. On-campus resources for sexual harassment and assault can be found in the women’s resource center, residence life and the counseling center.
“The University takes reporting of sexual harassment and assault very seriously, and Counseling Services has qualfied staff to help students who have experienced these kinds of assault and/or harrassment,” Dr. Slivka said.