LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A jury found Harvey Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape and one count of a felony sex act Monday, but acquitted the disgraced movie mogul on three other charges including the most serious — predatory sexual assault — which could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
“Weinstein with his manipulation, his resources, his attorneys, his publicist, and his spies, did everything he could to silence the survivors, but they refused to be silenced,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. “They spoke from their hearts and they were heard.”
Weinstein, 67, could be sentenced from five to 25 years in prison, and still faces serious charges in Los Angeles.
Lou Shapiro, a criminal defense attorney not involved in the case, believes the verdict in New York strengthens the case against Weinstein in Los Angeles.
“They’re going into this L.A. prosecution feeling a lot more confident than before,” said Shapiro. “They know they have prior convictions they can bring up in this trial, prior accusers, and they’re going to go full speed ahead on them.”
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced sexual assault charges against Weinstein the same day his trial began in New York back in January.
Weinstein faces four felony charges of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents at hotels in 2013.
On Monday, The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the New York verdict and how it will affect the L.A. case, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said Weinstein’s March 11 sentencing will take place before any proceedings start in California.
“We can anticipate that if there’s a conviction here and he has to serve any time on the L.A. case his attorneys in L.A. will ask for what’s called concurrent sentencing with New York so that any sentence he’s doing there is running at the same time as what he’s doing locally,” Shapiro said.
“It’s extremely important that he comes here and he’s held accountable here as well,” she said. “It’s definitely telling the community that whoever commits these violent crimes or sexual assaults or just sexual harassment are going to be held accountable regardless of position.”
Gutierrez hopes sexual assault survivors find strength and courage to come forward following the conviction.
“For every Harvey Weinstein, there are 100 men like that in our community. We need to remember that. We can’t just focus on what’s happening in Hollywood but what’s happening in our backyard,” Gutierrez said.
According to legal experts, authorities in California and New York will have to work together and come to an agreement because the state can not prosecute a defendant that is not physically in the courtroom.
Weinstein has yet to enter a plea in L.A. No date has been set for his arraignment in Los Angeles.