Six Women Will Testify in Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial

The Harvey Weinstein rape trial began last week in State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan and already, two women have taken the stand to testify against Weinstein, 67. The New York Times says four more women are scheduled to also testify against the former film producer. The case against Weinstein started in 2017 after he was accused of sexually assaulting several women. The case grew at a rapid rate and grabbed substantial media coverage which then led to the birth of the #MeToo movement.

The first of the six women to testify in court was actress Annabella Sciorra. Sciorra, who is best known for her role on “The Sopranos,” accused Mr. Weinstein of raping her in her Manhattan apartment in the early 1990s, reports The New York Times. She claims Weinstein pushed his way into her apartment, forcing her to engage in sexual relations that were nonconsensual on her part. 

On Monday, January 27th, Mimi Haleyi, who is a former production assistant on the series “Project Runway,” was scheduled to take the witness stand as the second woman to testify against Weinstein. Haleyi alleged that Weinstein “forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment, says CNN, and her account is connected with one of the five charges that have been filed against him.

The other four charges stem from an incident that occurred in 2013 involving Jessica Mann, who is a former hairdresser and actress. She met Weinstein at an industry party in Los Angeles when she was 25. Mann claimed Weinstein became “more demanding and violent” during their encounters until he allegedly raped [her] at the DoubleTree hotel in Midtown East on March 18, 2013, after injecting himself with an erection drug” [Source: Page Six].


Mann will be the third woman to testify against Weinstein.


Although six women are scheduled to take the stand and share their encounter with the man who has been accused of rape, assault, and harassment, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there that are claiming they were sexually abused by the “disgraced media mogul.” According to CNN, there are at least 100 more women who have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual abuse, however, most of these women will not have a part in the trial.


What charges have been filed against Harvey Weinstein?


Weinstein has been charged with five felony counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault, and is looking at being sentenced to life in prison if he is convicted. Despite the allegations that have been made against Weinstein along with the criminal charges that have been filed, his lawyers continue to try and convince the court that the accusers are “opportunistic women who willingly had transactional sex with Mr. Weinstein to advance their own careers.”


The trial shall continue this week where the court will be given the opportunity to hear from the other four women.


How long does a victim have to come forward with sexual harassment allegations?


Victims of sexual harassment/assault are always encouraged to come forward, even if it has been a few months or years since the incident occurred. While there are time limits to how long a person has to press charges against someone who has sexually abused them, you won’t know how strong your case is until you present it to a sexual harassment lawyer. If you or someone you know believes they are the victim of sexual harassment or assault and would like to speak with a sexual harassment attorney in your area who can determine what can be done so that justice is served, contact for help.

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