Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein's Sexual Assault Conviction Is a Well-Deserved Win for #MeToo

The disgraced filmmaker is headed to prison.

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Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted on two counts of sexual assault Monday—though a jury found him not guilty of predatory sexual assault, which could have sent him to prison for life.

Still, Weinstein is expected to serve between 5 and 25 years in prison. He is currently in jail on Rikers Island, awaiting sentencing on March 11. This development should be understood as a tremendous victory for the #MeToo movement and a well-deserved form of justice for Weinstein's many victims who told their stories in the media, in public, and eventually, in court.

"This is a new landscape for survivors of sexual assault," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement to the press. "These heroic women broke their silence to hold Harvey Weinstein accountable, and a generation of sexual assault survivors heard their every word."

It's important to remember that Weinstein was ultimately brought down by careful, impeccably-reported journalism involving on-the-record sources and tons of corroborating information. This was nothing like the evidence-deficient smear campaigns that have characterized some of the other prominent #MeToo stories. And the verdict against Weinstein was ultimately read not in the court of public opinion but in an actual courtroom. This is precisely how serious accusations of criminal wrongdoing should be handled: with judges and juries, due process for the accused, and convictions based on evidence.

It took a long time to bring Weinstein to justice, but the process ultimately succeeded—and for that, we should all be thankful.

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  1. I suppose I’m in the minority, but I don’t see how a produce trading sex for casting or producing is rape. I do boring tedious things in exchange for pay; pay me enough, I’m sure I’d trade awful sex.

    This is not like Roman Polanksi drugging and raping a 13 year old, or Bill Clinton getting sex from an intern. This was adults making a deal.

    Now maybe he did actually rape unwilling wannabes, I don’t know. If he did, he’s a rapist for sure. But the casting couch has been a joke since probably Shakespeare if not earlier.

    1. It isn’t rape. I think you are right about that. But if I am not mistaken Weinstein did a lot more and worse than told women to give it up if they wanted a part. He straight up physically assaulted and raped women.

      1. “He straight up physically assaulted and raped women.”

        I’m all for someone facing consequences for such actions, but I was thinking physical evidence relating to those claims would be required. Sounds to me like the evidence points to him being a shitbag, but that’s not rape. Anyone go transcripts for the trial?.

      2. He straight up physically assaulted and raped women.

        Like Bill Clinton.

        1. And Donald Trump?

          1. It is truly remarkable that for all the Trump hate in the world, he has never had even a proper manufactured fake accusation in the media.

            He must be far better behaved than almost any other politician.

        2. Shhh… it’s okay cause he’s one of the good ones. Not a Nazi like McCain Romney Trump.

        3. Stop. Seriously. This is pointless derailing.

      3. where’s the evidence for this?

        1. I’d be willing to bet that the jury saw/heard the evidence, given that they convicted him.

          1. “I’d be willing to bet that the jury saw/heard the evidence, given that they convicted him.”

            Bullshit, there was no physical evidence to show them.

            What the jury heard was not evidence, but hearsay that the judge allowed because she understood it would be politically advantageous to put her hand on the scale of justice to ensure. conviction.

            This pains me because I have spent the last 3 decades pointing out how much I despise Weinstein and everything he stands for, but if Harvey Weinstein could be convicted on this, so could you and I without a shred of evidence and plenty of evidence that should have sparked reasonable doubt in the jury.

            Weinstein is a sleaze bag who should be shunned my police society, but if this is all it takes to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt them we are all at risk of a conviction regardless of the evidence.

            I suppose in the sense of now having the power to incarcerate any man they choose based entirely on hearsay this is a huge win for the #meetoo movement. This is one of their stated goals. I just didn’t expect Mr. Soave to support that.

            1. police society = polite society. Damn no edit feature.

            2. Uh, witness testimony is not hearsay.

            3. We are getting to the point where any guy who thinks with his brain, rather than his other principal organ, has got to come to the conclusion that the other organ should never be indulged, ever again. It is too dangerous, possibly leading to a long residence in an institution where a third organ gets a LOT more action than the others.

              It could result in extinction of the species, but if so, then we will be the first species to have willed ourselves to extinction. Or maybe only the really stupid will breed, which will have a very bad effect on the women.

          2. Oddly enough, one of the bizarre elements of this trial, according to Napolitano, is that no cops testified for the prosecution. There was also a bunch of potentially exculpatory evidence excluded–such as affectionate texts and emails between the parties.

            While evidence of such communications (before or after the assault, or both) doesn’t prove they weren’t assaulted (if you have to make nice to Harvey to have a career, that wouldn’t change after he bent you over) it would be sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt in some people’s minds.

            Which might be why the cops weren’t called to testify. It’s entirely possible that over the course of the investigations, inconsistencies arose that made the cops doubt the complainants’ credibility. Say, if the complainants told the cops they had no prior contact with Weinstein and then text messages or emails were found that they did. Or if they told the cops they didn’t do anything to lead him to believe they were consenting, but those prior communications were flirtatious or even flat out making an offer. Or if they told the cops they avoided him after he assaulted them, but then had months of dirty texts and emails back and forth with him afterwards.

            (Incidentally, this was how Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted in Canada a few years ago–by bringing in such communications and impeaching the complainants who all lied on the stand, and we’ve now changed our law to not only subject all such evidence to a rape shield test, but to give complainants legal standing in rape shield hearings. So it is now mandated by law that witness testimony be tainted prior to trial. Ain’t life grand?)

            Anyway, all of that communication was excluded from the trial, and if there’s no physical evidence admitted to have the police attest to, there’s no reason to bring in a witness who has nothing to say that would help your case, but might say inconvenient things.

        2. That’s what I’d like to see.

          All this pontificating about due process and a Meetoo win is the same old crap if the “evidence” is simply testimony in a willing sex for career exchange.

          1. I’d like to see it too. In the current climate, we don’t need men going to jail without evidence for rape just because they’re sleazebags.

      4. There was no physical evidence. All you had was a bunch of women deciding decades later, after media reports, that the sex they had with him was non-consensual. This may be a victory for #MeToo, but it’s a loss to the rule of law.

        1. Well said.

          Weinstein seems like a total dirtbag who exploited numerous women BUT there seems to be zero evidence of sexual assault. There are only accusations and no independent objective evidence of guilt. It’s a huge loss for the rule of law and the rights of the accused.

    2. Yeah, that’s what got me about this whole thing. Seemed like a pretty standard prostitution setup, except he’s paying in professional advancement rather than in cash. The primary difference being that the ones paid in cash have no problem admitting that they’re whores.

      If he actually forced someone into having sex with him then he deserves all of this, but “blow me and I’ll get you a promotion” doesn’t seem prison-worthy to me.

      1. It seems that is what he did or at least what the witnesses said he did

        During the many weeks of trial, the prosecution methodically elicited graphic testimony from several accusers, including Haleyi, who said Weinstein invited her to his SoHo home after she had worked on one of his television productions.

        After she arrived, Weinstein backed her into a bedroom, held her down on the bed and forced himself on her orally, yanking out her tampon, Haleyi told jurors.

        A onetime aspiring actress, Mann said that soon after meeting Weinstein she entered into an “extremely degrading” relationship with him that never included intercourse until, she alleged, he raped her in 2013.

        She described Weinstein as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character: He was charming in public but often showed terrifying anger when they were alone, Mann said.

        At one point, she started sobbing uncontrollably on the stand, prompting the judge to end testimony early for the day.

        Weinstein was charged with assaulting Haleyi and Mann, but prosecutors bolstered their case by calling several other accusers as witnesses.

        One of these women, “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, told jurors Weinstein came into her apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and raped her.

        Though the accusation was too old to be charged as a separate crime, prosecutors offered it to show Weinstein was a repeat sexual offender.

        Three other women – costume designer Dawn Dunning, model Tarale Wulff and actress Lauren Young – testified that they were enticed into meeting Weinstein for professional reasons and then groped or raped.

        http://freebeacon.com/uncategorized/dem-megadonor-gun-control-activist-harvey-weinstein-convicted-on-rape-charges/

        1. Well I stand corrected then, not standard prostitution.

          He’s an actual rapist, I hope karma finds him in prison.

          1. If “karma in prison” implies jailhouse rape, how dare you inflict Weinstein some poor convicted felon.

            1. … Weinstein on some poor …

        2. You know what I call a story told about a man pinning down a menstruating woman, ripping out her tampon, and eating her pussy out?

          Reasonable fucking doubt.

          1. I didn’t hear her testify and I don’t know the circumstances around the incident. So, I can’t judge her credibility. But, people are depraved. I have no doubt there are men who are into that out there. I wouldn’t dismiss her story as impossible.

            1. If only “not impossible” was the standard for a criminal prosecution.

              At the end of the day, Weinstein was convicted based on nothing more than the stories told … by actresses.

              Weinstein may be a depraved piece of shit, but if a good story without any physical or contemporaneous evidence is enough to convict a man, then no man is safe from prosecution.

              1. Yes he was. That is called witness testimony. You can be convicted based on that alone if the jury believes the witnesses. In this case they did. I am not in a position to question that.

                I will say this. Weinstein no doubt had the best defense team money could buy. Maybe it is the case that all of these women ganged up on him and lied about it. But, I find it hard to believe that if that were true his defense team couldn’t have created reasonable doubt with at least one juror and at least got a hung jury. Weinstein isn’t some college kid with a public defender. So, I am inclined to think he is guilty as hell here.

                1. Do you think it is just to be convicted solely based on somebody’s word, without any extrinsic evidence of any sort?

                  I find that highly problematic.

                  1. Depending on the circumstances sure. I don’t think anyone is ever convicted on a person’s word alone. They prosecution has to show circumstances that make their testimony even possible, like that they were there and you were there and so forth. If someone says you did something and they were in a position to know and you have no alibi or can show no reason why they shouldn’t be believed, then yeah, you can and should be found guilty if the jury believes the person. Why wouldn’t you?

                    1. Even assuming that location is established (both were in the same room, etc.) it still came down to a he said, she said situation.

                      No police reports. No physical evidence. Continuing relationship after the alleged rape.

                      If that is not reasonable doubt, I have no idea what is.

                  2. It all depends on the circumstances. If it is the Blessy Ford broad who says it happened but she can’t say when or where or how, then no, no jury should believe that nonsense. If the person has specific details about where when and how and gives a credible story and the defense can’t put up any reason not to believe them, then maybe so. I have no idea where these women fit on the Blessy Ford bullshit artist to actual credible witness scale.

                    1. “If the person has specific details about where when and how and gives a credible story and the defense can’t put up any reason not to believe them, then maybe so.”

                      That means 20 years ago you could have sent me an email asking me to come over and play Yahtzee. I agree and set up a time. I come over and play Yahtzee. Then two decades later I said you raped me. I have the evidence that we met up and when because I saved the email. Is that good enough?

                      You could be a rapist and you could have raped dozens of other people, but that doesn’t mean you raped me when we played Yahtzee and that’s the claim you’re defending. Is that enough to believe me?

                  3. “Do you think it is just to be convicted solely based on somebody’s word”

                    Do you intimately understand the science and technology of gel electrophoresis? Protease chemistry? And a raft of other things? Because if not then you really cannot properly evaluate the results of any sort of DNA testing.

                    Inevitably you, me, and the rest of us, will inevitably end up relying on ‘somebody else’s word’ even if you don’t want to think of it that way.

                    1. Which, is concerning, but should not be fatal to justice.

                      Justice is a human endeavor, humans are fallible, so justice is fallible.

                2. I suspect there were other bits of evidence included that went beyond witness testimony as well. I was not involved in the trial, however, and cannot speak to it.

                  1. Those bits should be publicly available.

              2. Weinstein may be a depraved piece of shit, but if a good story without any physical or contemporaneous evidence is enough to convict a man, then no man is safe from prosecution.

                ^this +100. Where the evidence for these accusations? Seems like a classic witch hunt to me.

              3. Exactly. Weinstein is probably a depraved piece of shit. But no man is safe, guilty or innocent.

          2. A motorcycle club member can earn red Harley wings for cunnilingus on a menstruating woman. The blood adds a coppery taste. The gal gets to pin the wings to your bare chest as a badge of honor. But it is done as ritual among consenting adults.

            It is not inconceivable that a power pig would force himself like that on a woman without consent.

            1. Since when is “not inconceivable” the threshold for proving criminal guilt?

              Beyond a reasonable doubt.

              “Eh, it’s possible” doesn’t cut it.

              1. Geraje Guzba
                February.24.2020 at 5:28 pm
                You know what I call a story told about a man pinning down a menstruating woman, ripping out her tampon, and eating her pussy out?
                Reasonable fucking doubt.

          3. How much of a misanthrope do you have to be to go to bat for Harvey fucking Weinstein? Who hurt you, Geraje?

            1. I’m batting for the presumption of innocence and applying the proper evidentiary standards to convict, you dickless fucking twat.

              1. Some people can’t separate the who from the what.

                It’s like people that think you are pro-Trump because you are against secret courts, have a problem with hearsay evidence, and don’t have faith in the honesty of gov intel.

            2. Fuck off Jeffy.

              I don’t agree with him, but he is making an honest argument.

              Something you are incapable of doing.

        3. That sounds a lot like ‘he said she said’ to me

          1. If we learned anything from the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, it’s that getting a parade of women to lie under oath is not difficult.

            1. That was a short parade, and none had even described circumstances that made sense. This is a very, very long parade of witnesses with exquisite detail of a pattern of criminal behavior.

              I’d hate to be your wife, daughter, or gf.

              1. “I’d hate to be your wife, daughter, or gf.”

                If I had a nickel for every time some useless twit on the internet said that to me for daring to challenge their overly-emotional tripe, I’d be a rich man.

              2. “Makes sense” is not the standard to convict. For fuck’s sake, for a bunch of libertarians, the commentariat have an awful difficult time grasping the meaning of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

              3. I’d hate to be on trial for my life in front of you when the only evidence against me is some witness testimony from literally PAID ACTORS.

                Reasonable doubt is reasonable doubt even for douchebags.

        4. Regardless of what happened, the legal standard for rape ought to be that there needs to be independent witnesses or physical evidence, and that the rape is reported as soon as possible after it happened.

          This isn’t just out of fairness to the accused, it also makes it clear to victims that they have a responsibility to report right away so that others are spared the same fate.

          Each of these women is responsible for the sexual abuse of dozens of other women because they chose to remain silent while it was inconvenient for their careers to speak up.

      2. Because it’s holding a job ransom for doing something outside of the job requirements. Basically it’s extortion.

        The implication is that the women who are going to get work on a certain film project aren’t going to be chosen because of their talents or their dedication, but their willingness to sexually please the producer. It’s unrelated to their work responsibilities. Moreover, Hollywood is corruptly inbred enough that a single high-profile producer can potentially ruin a career through pure word-of-mouth. It’s not like my job where, if it’s shitty enough, I can just start shopping my resume around town. There’s a real possibility that if you’re unwilling to give a blowjob to the right man, you will never get a job in your chosen field.

        Yes, the man is a horrible scumbag who deserves to go to jail. It’s different that someone who actually chooses prostitution as a career because sexual acts are in the job description.

        1. Fear and intimidation are also reasonable weapons. This 300# dirtbag could seriously hurt someone, and I find no fault with someone choosing to be a survivor. Let’s also understand that these charges are basically only downside for these women. There is no cult-following, political, and likely no financial incentive.

          1. Today, I rather doubt he could even hurt his walker.

            1. Are you kidding? The second he gets a light sentence like 5 years house arrest (which you know is gonna happen) he will toss that walker aside and start dancing around like the six flags guy.

          2. He would get mad and throw five pound glass ashtrays at people.

        2. “It’s unrelated to their work responsibilities.”

          Our entire employment system in the U.S. is set up so that if you don’t have the right views, even in your private life, you can be fired for cause from most places.

          Also, relation to work responsibilities is defined by the employer, not some random individual on the internet. At least, that’s what I thought the libertarian position was.

          I would rather some concrete evidence of wrong doing for such a serious charge rather than a bunch of uncorroborated stories. I’m not saying he didn’t rape them. He appears disturbed enough to do so. But that’s not the burden of guilt in this country. And I don’t like the precedent of 20 years from now, a group of women can get a guy jailed without physical evidence based solely on their testimony.

        3. “Basically it’s extortion.”

          Extortion isn’t rape though and it really isn’t extortion. Two people want something. One person wants a lay and the other wants to become rich and famous. Does the person that wants to become rich and famous have anything to offer?

          Most are not in the movie industry for their talents or their dedication. They’re there because their daddy invested in a land development project and was provided a favor. Just so happens the project is being run by a movie producer or an investor. Music is often the same way. There is a large pool of such “talent” because lots of fathers have daughters with big dreams and the families have the money to make said dreams a reality.

          The inability to fuck your way to the top means that unless you’re connected you have no chance and you’re lucky to get a spot pretending you’re about to shit yourself in a diarrhea commercial. Why should anyone give you the time of day when they can benefit by giving someone else the gig?

          Fuck your way up the ladder, pull the ladder up behind you, claim a victory for women’s rights.

        4. Because it’s holding a job ransom for doing something outside of the job requirements. Basically it’s extortion.

          Extortion is about the threat of depriving someone of something they are entitled to. Nobody is entitled to being hired by anyone.

          What this was was a corrupt quid-pro-quo. And these women did their part of the quid-pro-quo by remaining silent for years while they benefited from their past association with him.

          There’s a real possibility that if you’re unwilling to give a blowjob to the right man, you will never get a job in your chosen field.

          I agree. And many women did not take up Weinstein on his invitations and did not get film roles as a result. These women did.

    3. “Having spent zero time reading into the actual allegations and evidence against Weinstein, it’s unclear to me why people think he’s guilty.”

    4. Get woke. Anything a woman decides she does not want or like, at any time during or after an encounter (including years later) is rape.

      And if an individual woman is not inclined to call something rape, there are plenty of sisters more than ready to take her autonomy and make the declaration for her.

      1. There is a #metoo segment which has become that strawman. For the most part, though, people tend to agree that sexual harassment quid pro quo is wrong and should be a crime, and there’s plenty of evidence that he made those sort of deals.

        It doesn’t mean every accusation is made equal or that no women are liars, just that we should act on the cases where we do have sufficient evidence.

        1. “For the most part, though, people tend to agree that sexual harassment quid pro quo is wrong and should be a crime, and there’s plenty of evidence that he made those sort of deals.”

          I’d like to hear your case for why it should be a crime to offer someone a lucrative position in exchange for sex

        2. Given Reason’s crusade to legalize prostitution, I too would like to hear this argument.

        3. For the most part, though, people tend to agree that sexual harassment quid pro quo is wrong and should be a crime, and there’s plenty of evidence that he made those sort of deals.

          Well, I’m sure there are many people like that. But how is that a libertarian position? How does that square with wanting to legalize prostitution?

          If women want to sell their bodies, that’s their good right, whether it’s for a $50 quickie behind the dumpster or a $5 million film role.

          1. There’s a huge difference in a woman WILLING to sell her body for whatever compensation and a woman being coerced into it because that’s their only option to move forward in their career. Put it this way: I’m assuming you are a straight man. What if you finally had your big break in your dream career and some man told you you had to blow him to proceed? You either blow another man or you don’t move on in your career. How you can even consider that being the same as prostitution is beyond me.

  2. There are no wins in the Me Too movement. It is political grandstanding to elevate both fear and power for a gendered class. The male Me Too movement is basically laughed at, see Terry Crews. Also it encourages the same level of rape as campus title IX investigations.

    This is a win for the court system, not for Me Too.

    1. True! That was my reaction to hearing Tom Jones [singer] say he too was a victim. Of all the people in the world to feel sorry bad for being a victim, the serial womanizer trying to get a headline became a laugh. Kinda like Stormy Daniels saying that her reputation has been destroyed.

      1. Stormy Daniels was ripped off $300K by her savior Michael Avenatti. It’s like watching a feeding frenzy where the sharks attack each other. Hollywood and lawyers, the self-righteous elites who judge us lesser mortals. It it would be laughable if ’tweren’t sad, tragicomic.

  3. I didn’t pay much attention to this trial. Since they acquitted him on several of the worst counts, it appears he got a fair trial at least. If the jury was out to get him, they would have likely convicted him on the worst counts.

    Weinstein is a piece of garbage. But, all of Hollywood knew it and didn’t care or do anything about it. If Weinstein has one mitigating fact going for him, it is that Hollywood enabled and rewarded him so long that he forgot what he was doing was wrong or against the law.

    As bad as Weinstein is, I seriously doubt he is even in the top five of “most disgusting and depraved people in Hollywood. Top ten for sure but I doubt top five.

    1. “As bad as Weinstein is, I seriously doubt he is even in the top five of “most disgusting and depraved people in Hollywood. Top ten for sure but I doubt top five.”

      How many people in Hollywood went to Epstein’s little tropical getaway? Because it was impossible for powerful people in Hollywood and Washington to get anonymous sex from gorgeous willing partners at any hour of the day or night unless they went there, right? I’m fairly sure what went on there fell under the general term, ‘depraved.’

      I’m surprised they convicted Weinstein, TBH.

    2. All time, how about Louis B. Mayer? From what I have read and having seen the depiction of him in the movie “Judy,” he would be hard to beat.

    3. My interpretation is that they didn’t really have anything to go on, but felt pressured to come up with something, so they went with the lowest convictions.

  4. I’m seeing a lot of video going around the twittersphere today of people giving testimonials at awards shows and the like. Those people must be devastated today.

    Maybe they’ll speak on his behalf at his sentencing. I’d hate to think the only support he’ll receive from his former colleagues is a Polanski-ish standing ovation at some future Oscars.

    1. Would never happen. They have nothing to gain by speaking up for him now.

    2. Nah… in Hollywood, if it can’t help you, it can only hurt you. They were only effusing love when he could help them or they could be seen aligning with him. Now, if he had been a popular Republican, they’d be dancing on his grave. But being part of the leftist elite, they just want his name stricken from history.

      1. Airbrushed out of the credits like so much Trotsky.

    3. None other than Michelle Obama was singing Harvey’s praises from behind a podium just a few years ago. I’m sure she didn’t know the details, but she must have heard rumors. Yikes!

  5. Two out of five, and not the worst two.
    I would say he is headed for appeals court.

    1. He’d be headed for appeals court if it were five out of five. He’s got enough money that even if his defense team told him they had nothing to appeal on, he’s going to say, “Let’s try anyway.”

  6. “It’s important to remember that Weinstein was ultimately brought down by careful, impeccably-reported journalism involving on-the-record sources and tons of corroborating information.”

    I think we all owe Shikha an apology.

  7. This is precisely how serious accusations of criminal wrongdoing should be handled: with judges and juries, due process for the accused, and convictions based on evidence.

    So how was this a victory for #MeToo? My understanding is that the purpose of #MeToo was to show women that they weren’t alone, that they could stand up for themselves, that they didn’t have to submit to gross pigs forcing themselves on them – which they’ve been free to do all along. To the extent that #MeToo wants to expand the definition of rape to include regrettable sex, that’s not a good thing at all.

    1. #Metoo, like several other activist movements (I’m thinking also of BlackLivesMatter) suffers from a branding problem.

      What we can consider a good thing: Women who have faced actual sexual abuse and rape should absolutely speak up about it. They should do everything in their power to produce actual evidence of their abuse and bring their abusers to trial, and if it’s helpful to find other victims of a serial abuses, they should seek to connect with them.

      What happened is that it got co-opted by women attempting to win the victimization Olympics. Everyone wants to throw in their story and get their 15 seconds of Twitter limelight for each perceived slight, and it gets greeted by raucous applause. For some reason, women in this movement think that anything at work that makes them feel uncomfortable, for any reason, must be sexual harassment.

      I don’t know why women who are actual victims don’t utterly destroy the liars and charlatans. It’s amazing when a fantastical liar like Julie Swetnik is greeted with sympathy and understanding.

      1. Michael Avenatti had another declarant after Julie Swetnick. The declaration 2 Oct 2018 stated that she knew Christine Ford and Julie Swetnick and vouched for their credibility and piled on new accusations against Kavanaugh. The woman over whose signature that declaration appeared contacted NBC and told them that follow up declaration was not her words, that Avenatti twisted her words, and she did not witness nor participated in what the declaration declared. In the interest of truth and fair play for Christine Ford and Julie Swetnick, NBC sat on her communications to them until after Kavanaugh was seated on SCOTUS.
        BUT THE TRUTH WILL OUT.
        Michael Avenatti, “Yet another accuser has come forward (see sworn stmt below). She is prepared to meet with the FBI today and disclose multiple facts and witnesses.”, Twitter, 3 Oct 2018,

        [sarcasm] That Avenatti’s declarant recanted her declaration just illustrates how a good Democrat Trump-hater and gun control advocate like Michael Avenatti is a powerless innocent victim of the might of the evil Republicans and Gun Lobby. Let THE HUNT begin! [/sarcasm]

        1. They will get Trump by the 4th or 5th Impeachment.

    2. Is there any evidence that they want to expand the definition of rape to include regrettable sex?

      1. In as many words? No.

        In practice, though, they support outrageous claims by “Mattress Girl” or the guy who was suspended for rape because he failed to stop a friend of his from slapping her butt. In general, it seems that #MeToo largely believes only women can define consent and they have weeks or months.

        Heck, there was also a story on Reason (I can’t seem to find it) where a female college student didn’t feel she’d been raped, but a sexual harassment group she was a member of spent weeks convincing her that she HAD been raped, until she eventually filed a Title IX complaint.

        1. Then there’s the USC kicker who got kicked out because some stranger saw him rough-housing with this gf (now wife) and reported it to the title ix office.

          Railroaded.

          1. Title IX offices should be abolished.

        2. The Duke Lacrosse team?

    3. To the extent that #MeToo wants to expand the definition of rape to include regrettable sex, that’s not a good thing at all.
      This is my main beef with it. Rape is terrible, but shifting/expanding/changing the definition of rape to include sex that was undesirable after the fact only serves to dilute the seriousness of the charge.

      #MeToo does nothing except inspire skepticism in me. Guess I’m a misogynist now.

  8. I wasn’t on the jury but when the conviction is based on “the first time we had sex 10-15-20-25 years ago it was rape but then we had sex a bunch of times after that and it wasn’t because you have witnesses, emails, notes letters, texts documenting it so the DA told me not to include that as rape but that first time was definitely rape!” I’m gonna think I might of voted the other way no matter the judges instructions or how much pressure I got from the other 11 jurors.

    1. I predict a successful appeal.

      1. I do too but not because the witnesses were unreliable. The problem is one of the jurors published a book on the evils of old men dating young women. And the judge overruled a defense motion to strike them. That is such an unbelievable error, it almost makes me think someone paid off the judge to make a reversible error and ensure any conviction is ultimately overturned.

        1. Perhaps the judge took judicial temperament lessons from Amy Berman Jackson?

          Not allowing that strike for bias is pretty unbelievable. Unless, as you said, the purpose was to have some ready reversible error.

        2. Hmm…interesting about the juror. I’d be interested to know what was in the book – jurors often are asked to sit on cases where they might not like the defendant as a person, the question I suppose if whether their dislike is strong enough to make them predisposed to stretch the evidence to declare the guy guilty.

          If a juror thought that a guy capable of consensual relationships with younger women would be more likely to be a rapist, that could certainly be a problem.

          On the one hand, I can’t imagine you could get a jury which was totally OK with consensual relationships between older men and younger women – unless you can get all women off the jury, that is.

          1. Apparently in this case they convicted Weinstein of going beyond consent into the area of rape and abuse…would the perceived ickiness of the age difference be so strong as to make a juror assume guilt of rape?

            On the other hand, I suppose the system has been known to bend over backward to avoid jurors with too many opinions about subjects potentially related to the case.

            Now, if the person had written a book about how Hollywood is full of predatory men, I’d see an even clearer case of bias. Even assuming it’s true, you wouldn’t want a juror going into the case with this as a pre-set assumption.

            1. Well, this looks interesting (if true):

              “But in a brief summary on her personal website, she wrote that the book is about young women and “predatory older men.””

              https://pagesix.com/2020/01/17/novelist-who-wrote-book-about-predatory-men-on-weinstein-jury/

              1. That might explain why the jury was hung on the predatory sex charges. This juror was 100% for conviction on this charge and other jurors would not find guilt.

                It would appear that a compromise was struck of acquittal on 3 of 5 charges but Weinstein had to found guilty of something, so #MeToo could claim a victory.

          2. Do Manhattan “swells” routinely get seated as jurors in high profile trials? How’s that work? I’d think social register, high end realtor, black tie charity event types typically avoid the slip and fall and whiplash civil trials. Maybe exceptions are made when they have a book to promote?

      2. Successful appeals are almost always on procedural or evidentiary issues. I cannot think of an appeal based on the sufficiency of the evidence that succeeded.

        1. There have been a few. It usually only happens when someone put on the record that there was a lack of evidence for a reasonable trier of fact to determine guilt.

  9. [sarcasm] Harvey Weinstein is a generous donator to the Democrat machine and an outspoken advocate of gun control. Obviously he is an innocent victim of Trump and the NRA and deserves full exhonoration. [/sarcasm]

    Not exoneration mind you. Exhonoration.

  10. “Harvey Weinstein’s Sexual Assault Conviction Is a Well-Deserved Win for #MeToo”

    Robby you idiot. Good trials make decisions on the merit of the case, with consideration for the parties directly involved.

    Thinking that the prosecution of an individual is something that a political movement deserves is just about the dumbest fucking thing on Reason (at least today).

    1. Well said!

  11. He will continue his fight against the NRA from inside the system.

    1. Not surprising Weinstein fights NRA.
      NRA has advised women #refusetobeavictim
      Most of the Refuse to be a Victim program is situational awareness, how identify and avoid people with bad motives or evil intent, security to deny bad actors opportunity to strike, and armed self-defense as a last resort.

  12. So when do they put Trump on trial for rape?

    1. By the 3rd Impeachment for sure.

  13. I am so fucking sick of Robby Soave telling me how I should think or feel. Give me the facts and let me make up my own goddamn mind. You write with the facile black-and-white preachiness of an eighth grader, and that’s being generous.

    1. I am so fucking sick of Robby Soave telling me how I should think or feel. Give me the facts and let me make up my own goddamn mind. You write with the facile black-and-white preachiness of an eighth grader, and that’s being generous.
      I laughed, because it’s true. Robby is not that far the the Buzzfeed writer that puts “(and why that’s a good thing)” in the headline.

  14. Mr. Weinstein’s conviction does mark a win for the #MeToo movement and it will be interesting to see where the movement goes. The movement did not exist in 2016 and candidate Trump got away without a lot of scrutiny. Will that be the case in 2020? Or will the President’s past start to catch up with him?

    1. Biden gropes women.

      Biden *and* Sanders grope around in people’s pockets.

      It’s not like we have a non-creepy candidate with a strong chance of winning.

      1. Ask the question who would you want sitting next to your daughter in an airline seat, Biden, Sanders, or Trump?

        1. Trump. It means she would be on Air Force One.

          Biden and Sanders are just losers who grope young women and get away with it.

          1. “I only want my daughter groped by successful men.” is a reasonable takeaway from what you just wrote.

            1. Only if you think Trump gropes every woman he’s around.

              1. Contextually, that was implied.

            2. “I only want my daughter groped by successful men.” is a reasonable takeaway from what you just wrote.

              I don’t have daughters. I do hope my sons only grope women who only allow themselves to be groped by successful men. I’d hope my FIL is content with the success level of the man who gropes his daughter.

        2. Who is in the seat is not important; the groping would have already been done, for pay, by a random federal government employee before she boarded.

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  18. In a classic quid pro quo aren’t both parties in the wrong?

  19. It’s important to remember that Weinstein was ultimately brought down by careful, impeccably-reported journalism involving on-the-record sources and tons of corroborating information.

    You mean 10 years ago when these crimes happened?

    Robby, stop trying to save you peer’s asses by padding a story with lies. It’s why Americans hate the media.

    Even the jury almost didn’t convict Weinstein. They only convicted him on 2 of 5 charges and they were a hung jury until a deal was made in the jury room. That is not some slam dunk conviction because of “careful, impeccably-reported journalism involving on-the-record sources and tons of corroborating information”.

  20. Harvey Weinstein is about as unsympathetic a character as we have seen since a group of British soldiers went on trial for the Boston Massacre. These are exactly the type of cases were we test just how robust our system of Constitutional protections are. We did not design a system that demands proof beyond a reasonable doubt because we wanted to protect someone guilty of saving a litter of cute puppies. These protections were designed for the worst of the worst because we knew the State would have the ability to skirt Constitutional protections by claiming “this guy or gal us so bad they doesn’t deserve them.”

    Without any physical proof and based entirely on spoken testimony, we have accepted, as attorney Scott Greenfield pointed out:

    “the complex set of facts prosecutors laid out, that Haleyi and Mann could be raped or sexually assaulted by Weinstein on one day and consent to sex with him or send him a warm note another — out of fear or denial, or out of deference to Weinstein’s economic power over them.”

    https://blog.simplejustice.us/2020/02/25/tuesday-talk-is-weinstein-a-watershed/

    This does not mean that Haylei and Mann should not be believed, or are not telling the truth because that is not the legal standard, so those who quote witness testimony as justification for incarceration don’t understand the concept of beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Setting aside the very idea that locking someone in a cage should be called a “victory” for anyone, this is why headlines such as

    “Harvey Weinstein’s Sexual Assault Conviction Is a Well-Deserved Win for #MeToo”

    makes m skin crawl. At root, a conviction is about matching up a specific crime with the specific person who committed it. Once you enter “win for movements” territory you are using Witch Trial social justice arguments in place of the rule of law.

    Unless, of course, you believe mob convictions and violence should be a thing.

    1. I am appalled by this article, especially on a supposedly libertarian site.

      This is a “well deserved win” for #metoo??? No, it’s a HUGE loss for justice in this society. There was ZERO independent objective evidence, only accusations. There was no physical evidence, no rape kits, no police reports, no eye witnesses and no injuries to suggest assault. To top it all off, there was a large amount of exculpatory evidence of long term consensual sexual relationships with these women AFTER the alleged assaults. To convict somebody on this “evidence” is beyond insane, Salem Witch Trial level shit. We don’t seem to have learned anything over the centuries since that happened.

      Weinstein seems like a total dirtbag who likely sexually exploited numerous women BUT he should not have been convicted of any crimes based on the evidence in this trial.

      Today, anybody accused of a sex crime has zero rights, no presumption of innocence. Nobody (especially a man) is safe. This is totally f’d up.

  21. No, one trial/conviction does NOT make a win for a movement.

    This was one trial, one person.

    Only time will tell if the MeToo# movement succeeds.

  22. “Makes sense” is not the standard to convict. For fuck’s sake, for a bunch of libertarians, the commentariat have an awful difficult time grasping the meaning of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

  23. I saw him run out of the bank with a gun

    Just another story

    what a bunch of d bags supporting this guy

    He is convicted, which seems to be good enough when it is some black kid on death row

    1. The Reason Commentariat: Cheering when black kids get executed, regardless of circumstances.

      Brought to you by Libertarians for White Privilege, LLC.

      1. Yeah. White people are terrible.

    2. “‘He is convicted, which seems to be good enough when it is some black kid on death row””

      Not with most people on this site.

  24. Let us go over to the Oklahoma death penalty thread, is that not just a bunch of stories told?

    1. https://reason.com/2015/09/15/oklahoma-is-going-to-execute-a-likely-in/#comments

      I went over to the Oklahoma death penalty thread. People seem just as irate and skeptical over there. Am I missing something?

  25. How is this related to limiting the powers of government and promoting liberty for the individual?

  26. It’s important to remember that Weinstein was ultimately brought down by careful, impeccably-reported journalism involving on-the-record sources and tons of corroborating information.

    Jesus Fucking Christ do you pat yourself on the back when you get done jerking off too?

    FFS Weinstein did this for years and not exactly very quietly. Rose McGowan has been telling anyone who would listen for years. When it broke, you guys heralded Asia Argento as one of the champions only to discover, after several months, that she was only a slightly smaller pile of hot garbage. The guy’s a movie producer and you got him on a failing percentage of the counts he was charged with. Reports far and wide that Weinstein assaulted Paltrow and Jolie, now appear to be flatly false allegations. The majority of people who are aware of Weinstein and that he has been convicted won’t be able to name who his victims were.

    If this is impeccably-reported journalism, you stand no chance against people like Putin, Trump, and Jinping and probably should be replaced by someone better.

    You (collectively) managed not to fuck up as hard as the Jackie Coakley or Covington HS kids story. This was the bare minimum of doing your jobs and you did it poorly. Seth McFarlane did your jobs better than you as a joke. Celebrating this like it’s a win shows the complete lack of any sort of integrity you fail to hold yourselves to.

    1. Yeh, reminds me of the steroids in baseball story. It annoys me to no end to hear sports writers act as if they ‘broke the story’ when they didn’t because they were too busy protecting their access and tee-offs with athletes.

      Worse, they mocked bloggers who were the first to sound the alarm noticing stats were spiking too high above average means. Oh how they laughed. All the Wilbon ‘bloggers in their mommy’s basement’ comments. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

      Then it broke.

      Some journalists are meticulous I’m sure, others really smart no doubt. Some take their craft seriously; others not so much.

      But lemme tell ya. This Trump investigation and impeachment thing was thoroughly unimpressive.

  27. Does a rape charge have to be ‘proven beyond a shadow of a doubt’?

    I doubt this happened here in the strictest sense. But there likely was too much to ignore but still it should make one wonder about just who won here. The rule of law or a movement?

    It’s a bit like OJ. Or a mobster. We all know he did it and that John Gotti is in the mafia but it has to be PROVEN.

    Weinstein, by all accounts, is a thug, a scum bag and a sleaze bucket. A natural friend for Hilary!

    Our instincts tell us he did it. I don’t shed a tear for him and do respect the women who came forward and told their stories. I hope they can move on and find inner peace. At best what he did was immoral and sleazy. It could only move down from there and one would think with his lawyers, they could have found a hole somewhere but they didn’t, We’ll just have to trust the system worked here.

    Still….my inner Beccaria is concerned a tad.

    1. Then there’s another angle discussed here and someone can perhaps school me on.

      Let’s say he was offering roles in exchange for sexual favours. On its own, this is wrong and morally reprehensible. But it’s not like this is unique. Politics, arts and sex have always been intertwined. Just read Ancient Rome and that becomes pretty obvious.

      It’s really shitty for someone who wants to be an actress only to find out the main route to get there is through Weinstein’s dig. Talk about an asshole indeed. I imagine for some women this was too much and took another route in life. Others held their noses and did it and have had to work out that decision within themselves. While others probably didn’t care – a-la as rumour has it Jennifer Lawrence.

      I could be wrong there and apologize. Especially if she’s in another category mentioned.

      In any event, for those who had no qualms about it, how are they any different from Kamala Harris and politicians or execs who ‘sleep their way to the top’? Maybe this is the ‘patriarchy’ part they want to smash. Maybe. But then again, women are sexual predators too.

      Not an easy thing to waddle through especially legally.

  28. I am appalled by this article, especially on a supposedly libertarian site.

    This is a “well deserved win” for #metoo??? No, it’s a HUGE loss for justice in this society. There was ZERO independent objective evidence, only accusations. There was no physical evidence, no rape kits, no police reports, no eye witnesses and no injuries to suggest assault. To top it all off, there was a large amount of exculpatory evidence of long term consensual sexual relationships with these women AFTER the alleged assaults. To convict somebody on this “evidence” is beyond insane, Salem Witch Trial level shit. We don’t seem to have learned anything over the centuries since that happened.

    Weinstein seems like a total dirtbag who likely sexually exploited numerous women BUT he should not have been convicted of any crimes based on the evidence in this trial.

    Today, anybody accused of a sex crime has zero rights, no presumption of innocence. Nobody (especially a man) is safe. This is totally f’d up.

  29. So Reason is abandoning the libertarian angle of “contract between consenting adults” in favor of virtue signaling for the #Metoo movement? Another stone in their walk of shame, placed right next to their “orange man bad” narrative. Pathetic.

  30. I’m not onboard with the libertarian position that all sex work should be legal, but Reason ought to be, and Weinstein is being raked over the coals simply for trading sex for money, all on the notion that women regretted their choices.

    Moreover, for Reason to give any praise to #MeToo at all is a lot like Bernie Sanders praising Castro’s “literacy program”. Even if the thing being praised actually was good, you don’t praise that person.

  31. Sorry, the #MeToo movement is all about using a much lower standard than ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ to convict and punish males. If you’re the victim of a crime, especially sexual assault, you must promptly report it to the police, no matter how difficult or humiliating the prospect may seem.

  32. Oddly enough, one of the bizarre elements of this trial, according to Judge Napolitano, is that no cops testified for the prosecution. He was very surprised that not a single cop was called to the stand. There was also a bunch of potentially exculpatory evidence excluded–such as affectionate texts and emails between the parties. The prosecutors were bitching about that, if I recall.

    While evidence of such communications (before or after the assault, or both) doesn’t *prove* they weren’t assaulted (if you have to make nice to Harvey to have a career, you’re gonna make nice, and that wouldn’t change after he bent you over) it would be sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt in some people’s minds.

    Which might be why the cops weren’t called to testify. It’s entirely possible that over the course of the investigations, inconsistencies arose that made the cops doubt the complainants’ credibility. Say, if the complainants told the cops they had no prior contact with Weinstein and then text messages or emails were found that they did. Or if they told the cops they didn’t do anything to lead him to believe they were consenting, but those prior communications were flirtatious or even flat out making an offer. Or if they told the cops they avoided him after he assaulted them, but then had months of dirty texts and emails back and forth with him afterwards.

    (Incidentally, this was how radio personality Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted in Canada a few years ago–by bringing in such communications and impeaching the complainants, who all lied to police and on the stand. And we’ve now changed our laws to not only subject all communications “of a sexual nature or for a sexual purpose” to a rape shield test, but to give complainants legal standing in pre-trial rape shield hearings. So in Canada it is now mandated by law that the testimony of the most important witness in a sexual assault prosecution be tainted prior to trial. Ain’t life grand?)

    Anyway, all of that communication was excluded from the trial, and if there’s no physical evidence admitted to have the police attest to, there’s no reason to bring in a witness who has nothing to say that would help your case, but might say inconvenient things.

    The thumb of the prosecutors was on the scale of justice in a way that can only occur in a sexual assault trial. I can’t say that he’d have been acquitted had that evidence been admitted, or had the cops been called to the stand and subjected to cross examination, but this trial was enough of a departure from the norm to raise a former judge’s eyebrows. Just saying.

    1. “The thumb of the prosecutors was on the scale of justice in a way that can only occur in a sexual assault trial. ”

      We have an adversarial system where prosecutors regularly overstep their role as Officers of the Court in order to win at all costs. It’s the judges job to prevent this.

      Every example of evidence damaging to the prosecution that was excluded had to be agreed to by the judge. Why is no one mentioning her role in this?

      One of the greatest persistent fantasies in our system is that judges represent some independent third party with a different mission than the prosecutor. It’s been my experience that judges defer to the prosecutors office on all things.

  33. Interestingly, I cannot conceive of any legal action against either Weinstein or Epstein if Hillary had won the election. Both progressive celebrities were good friends of the Clintons. We may never know what Bill was doing while flying with Epstein now that Epstein “committed suicide” but Weinstein may still call in a few markers from the Clintons after the 2020 election. Now, if we can only get to the worst celebrity offender, Roman Polanski.

  34. Who cares? The real victory for all of us would be if abuser Amber Heard was in jail. But she is on ACLU and Soave doesn’t say nothing about it. Then, again, Soave is friends with rape apologist Mary Koss. He is an idiot.

  35. It is OK for women to trade sexual favors for advancement, no women who put out, claimed Harvey did not come across as he promised.
    Women who keep their principles were not advanced, but, none of them claimed anything more than that Harvey propositioned them and they declined, so he declined to make them stars. Scumbag, yes. But no more of a scumbag than all the hot ladies who knowingly went to his office to make a sex deal with Harvey.
    A mutual exchange among adults was all that Harvey is guilty of, no one says he did not live up to his end of the deal!

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