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HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S guilty verdict has been welcomed by activists and survivors after the Hollywood mogul was found to have committed rape and a criminal sexual act.
The Hollywood producer was however cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault by the New York court on Monday.
Mr Weinstein faces up to 25 years in prison over the guilty verdicts relating to two women. His lawyers say he will appeal.
Actor Rose McGowan, one of the first women to publicly speak out, said: “The little girl I was when I was hurt, she’s ecstatic. This is a great day. The trash has been taken out.”
And Zoe Brock, another early accuser, described the verdict as a “landmark” ruling for survivors across the world, adding that she felt “elated, relieved, lighter.”
In a joint letter actors Ashley Judd, Lucia Evans and Rosanna Arquette and 19 other survivors said that it was “disappointing” that the outcome “does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve,” but expressed gratitude towards women who came forward to speak out against him.
Time’s Up president Tina Tchen said that the jury’s decision “marks a new era of justice” for not just the “silence breakers” — the women who came forward — but all survivors of harassment, abuse and assault at work.
Ms Tchen added that the verdict “sends a powerful message to the world.”
She said: “While we celebrate this historic moment, our fight to fix the broken system that has allowed serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein to abuse women in the first place continues.
“Abusers everywhere and the powerful forces that protect them should be on notice: there’s no going back.”
The Me Too movement said in a statement: “This case reminds us that sexual violence thrives on unchecked power and privilege.
“The implications reverberate far beyond Hollywood and into the daily lives of all of us in the rest of the world.”
Over 80 women have accused Mr Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault stretching back decades, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.
But due to New York’s five-year statute of limitations on Rape in the Third Degree, prosecutors were only able to bring charges in a few cases.
There are still other proceedings taking place against the convicted rapist including in Los Angeles for “forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by the use of force and sexual battery.”
He is also being investigated for federal sex trafficking charges and about a dozen civil lawsuits related to sexual harassment, sexual assault and retaliation.
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