28 de mayo de 2020
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Weinstein hospitalized for heart palpiations following conviction

By Carles Escola

By Carles Escola

New York City, United States, Feb 24 (EFE).- Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, convicted Monday of two sex crimes, including third-degree rape, was hospitalized in New York City for heart palpitations and chest pains.

Weinstein's lawyer Donna Rotunno said Monday night that the producer was in New York's Bellevue Hospital for high blood pressure and heart palpitations, according to several local media reports.

It is unclear if he will spend the night in hospital or be taken to the jail infirmary.

The producer was to be held at Rikers Island jail after his conviction. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 11.

Weinstein, 67, was found guilty Monday of two of the five charges against him including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape (first-degree and third-degree) and one first-degree criminal sexual assault count.

The magnate was convicted of committing a first-degree criminal sexual act, which carries a prison sentence of between 5 to 25 years, for forcing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.

He was also found guilty in the third-degree rape of aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013, which carries a maximum prison sentence of four years.

Weinstein faces 29 years in prison following the jury's verdict at the New York trial. It was made possible by the cascade of allegations against, which sparked international interest because of Weinstein's central role in Hollywood moviemaking, spurring the feminist #MeToo movement. On Monday, their courage was applauded.

"Gratitude to the brave women who've testified and to the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense. we will change the laws in the future so that rape victims are heard and not discredited and so that it's easier for people to report their rapes," Actress Rosanna Arquette wrote on Twitter.

Actress Mira Sorvino said the conviction was "the beginning of #justice. More to come, my sisters."

However, Weinstein escaped life sentence after being acquitted of the most serious charges of predatory sexual assault for the alleged rape of "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra in 1993 and rape in the first degree of Mann, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Weinstein, who underwent back surgery before the Jan. 6 start of his trial, listened to the verdict stoically although his other lawyer, Arthur Aidala, told reporters after the verdict that he repeated "I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?'”

Weinstein's defense team said Monday after their client was found guilty that they will appeal the verdict "as soon as possible."

"We'll absolutely be appealing. The fight is not over," Rotunno, told media at a press conference just outside the Manhattan courthouse. "Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man, and he knows that we will continue to fight for him, and he knows that this is not over."

Four other women - Dawn Dunning, Lauren Young, Tarale Wulff and Sciorra - gave testimony aimed at supporting the evidence presented by Mann and Haley. EFE

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Defense team: We will appeal Weinstein's conviction on 2 sex counts

New York, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- The jury in former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's sex-crimes trial in New York on Monday found him guilty of a pair of charges - third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act - but acquitted him of the most serious charges of predatory sexual assault and rape in the first degree.

Weinstein's defense team said Monday after their client was found guilty that they will appeal the verdict "as soon as possible."

"We'll absolutely be appealing. The fight is not over," Weinstein's lead defense attorney, Donna Rotunno, told the media at a press conference just outside the Manhattan courthouse. "Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man, and he knows that we will continue to fight for him, and he knows that this is not over."

Rotunno refused to comment specifically on what she thought about the trial until after the appeal process was over, but she suggested that there were many "troubling" issues, claiming that these elements prevented her client from getting a fair trial.

Weinstein's defense team filed a huge number of motions both before and during the trial that were denied by Judge James Burke, including an attempt to have a juror removed and replaced with an alternate last week, right at the end of the trial.

The juror in question had penned a novel about "predatory older men" and posted a review on Goodreads on Feb. 19 - after jury deliberations had begun - about the novel "My Dark Vanessa," which the defense team said also dealt with the same subject, arguing that this juror would not fairly consider the case against their client.

Weinstein attorney Arthur Aidala told reporters that the defense will be raising issues regarding the jurors and the jury selection process in their appeal and would also argue that including in the trial three accusers whose allegations against Weinstein were unrelated to the criminal charges was improper and prejudicial to their client.

Aidala also told reporters outside the courthouse after the verdict, speaking of Weinstein, "The words he said over and over again to me is, 'I'm innocent, I'm innocent, I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?'"

He also said that the movie magnate thanked his defense team "No matter what happens" just before the verdict was read.

Two hours into its fifth day of deliberations, the jury found Weinstein guilty of one criminal sexual act against production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006 and of rape in the third degree of aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013, but it acquitted him of the rape in the first degree of Mann and of the two charges that included the alleged rape of "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra almost 30 years ago.

Judge James Burke will sentence Weinstein on March 11 and for the charges on which he was convicted the magnate could face a maximum of 25 years in prison for the criminal sexual act and 4 years for the third-degree rape, although he will avoid life imprisonment, which he could have faced on the two charges of predatory sexual assault linked to Sciorra.

The trial sparked international interest because of Weinstein's central role in Hollywood moviemaking and because the complaints against him spurred the feminist #MeToo movement. Four other women - Dawn Dunning, Lauren Young, Tarale Wulff and Sciorra - gave testimony aimed at supporting the evidence presented by Mann and Haley.

Although the movie producer was facing five felony charges - two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape (first-degree and third-degree) and one count of criminal sexual assault in the first degree - the jury was constrained in their choices of which charges to convict him on and he could only have been convicted on two of the counts, at most.

The trial started on Jan. 6 with the selection of the jury, comprised of seven men and five women. On Jan. 22, the prosecution and Weinstein's defense team presented their opening arguments and began calling witnesses.

The jury retired to begin its deliberations last Tuesday, after on Feb. 13-14 the defense attorneys and prosecutors presented their closing arguments in the case.

In her closing argument, prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon devoted a portion of her comments to responding to attacks by defense counsel to try and discredit prosecution witness Sciorra, who told the jury that the once powerful film producer raped her at her New York home in the 1990s.

Illuzzi-Orbon also described Weinstein as an "extremely aggressive" sexual predator.

"He believed himself to be the king of his universe," she said, gesturing to a photo of Weinstein on the red carpet surrounded by dozens of journalists.

She also recalled that defense witness Paul Feldsher, Weinstein's friend and business associate, described the defendant as a sex addict.

In her own closing argument on Thursday, defense lawyer Rotunno said that the prosecution included Sciorra for the sake of having a witness "with some star power," given that none of the other women charging Weinstein or testifying in the trial were widely known.

Rotunno likewise impugned Sciorra's motives for agreeing to testify, saying that the 59-year-old actress was seeking to "stay relevant" and to re-energize her acting career.

Meanwhile, after the verdict was announced the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, issued a statement saying: "Today, a jury confirmed what we all know: Harvey Weinstein committed sexual assault. This wouldn't have been possible without the voices of the silence breakers in and outside of the courtroom, the survivors who courageously testified, and the jurors who, despite an unrelenting and unethical defense strategy, voted to find an unremorseful Harvey Weinstein guilty."

Actress Ashley Judd, one of the 80 or so women who have accused Weinstein of inappropriate sexual behavior, tweeted: "For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you."

And actress Rosanna Arquette said on Twitter: "Gratitude to the brave women who've testified and to the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense. we will change the laws in the future so that rape victims are heard and not discredited and so that it's easier for people to report their rapes."

Actress Mira Sorvino said: "The beginning of #justice. More to come, my sisters."

Meanwhile, the Silence Breakers, a group of actresses including Judd, Sorvino and Arquette who have claimed misconduct by Weinstein, released a statement saying that, "While it is disappointing that today's outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve, Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator."

"This conviction would not be possible without the testimony of the courageous women and the many women who have spoken out. Despite intimidation from Weinstein's legal team, they courageously shared their stories with the jury, the courtroom and the world. This has been a flawed process from the beginning but has further exposed the difficulties women face in coming forward to tell the truth about powerful abusers. Their bravery will forever be remembered in history. Our fight is far from over," the group said.

After hearing the verdict, Weinstein was handcuffed immediately and taken straight to jail, where he will await sentencing.

EFE-EPA

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