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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