New York: The real moment of disbelief inside the New York courtroom came when Harvey Weinstein was taken into custody.
Thus far throughout his trial, he's walked in and out of court with his walker and his lawyers – a free man like everyone else –though his reputation tarnished, still a free man.
But today, Weinstein became a convicted rapist.
At about 11.30 on Monday morning (local time), the jury submitted a note to the judge – it had reached a verdict. Entering their fifth day of deliberations, the verdict came in sooner than everyone was starting to think. We were all beginning to suspect this could drag out for days to come.
Once it was apparent there was a verdict, the number of security guards in the courtroom on level 15 virtually doubled. And no one was allowed to leave the court.
As we waited, about four security guards stood close behind Weinstein as he sat hunched over directly in front of the judge.
Then came the moment he and everyone else in that room were waiting for. All 12 jurors walked in and delivered their verdict: guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and guilty of rape in the third degree.
The jury acquitted him of the three remaining counts which included two counts of predatory sexual assault – the most serious of his charges in this trial.
Criminal sexual act in the first degree carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison – so this is a big blow to the movie mogul.
The prosecution asked the judge to remand Weinstein immediately. Conversely, Weinstein's leading attorney Donna Rotunno asked for him to remain in house arrest – she went into detail about his health issues that required daily attention and treatment. Despite her plea, the judge refused and remanded Weinstein in custody then and there.
That was the unbelievable moment in court. A man who perhaps once thought he was invincible, no longer. He can continue to deny these womens' stories, but the problem for him is they're no longer just stories or accusations. They're convictions. And he's a convicted rapist.
Weinstein got up and hobbled out of the courtroom, flanked by two security guards. We won't see him again until his sentence. During those moments, silence fell over the room. I think everyone sitting inside knew they were witnessing a moment in history.
And this moment in history is hopefully a step in the right direction towards juries believing more women. Just because there may not be forensic or physical evidence, it doesn't mean a crime hasn't been committed. And today's verdict is a testament to that.
Weinstein will be sentenced in New York on March 11.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/moment-of-disbelief-inside-new-york-courtroom-as-harvey-weinstein-taken-into-custody/4c41bd14-1e84-458d-817f-d30c2a1072bc