Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty. What's Next?

Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty. What's Next?

February 25, 20202 min read

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on two charges, but acquitted on three of the more serious charges in a New York courtroom on February 23. He will be sentenced on March 11, facing 5 to 29 years in prison. He also awaits criminal charges of sexual assault in Los Angeles.


Michelle Madden Dempsey, professor of law at the Charles Widger School of Law, says there are three main takeaways from this verdict. 

  1. Prosecutors were right to take this case to a jury, and even if the jury had acquitted, it still would’ve been an important “win” simply because it went to trial;
  2. The jury seems to have taken the case seriously and delivered a fair verdict
  3. We can’t read too much into this verdict re: #MeToo. When women and girls of color, socio-economically marginalized women and girls, prostituted-people, and others who lack relative structural power receive justice from the criminal legal system – then we can start to celebrate. That is to say, there’s still a lot of work to be done before all sexual assaults are taken seriously in our criminal justice system.


Dempsey also says we shouldn’t be too quick to assume that a social movement is driving these verdict.


"The social movement, I think, is driving prosecutors to take these cases to a jury – which is a good thing. But I think jury’s typically try to reach verdicts based on the fact and particular law of the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred."


To speak with Dempsey, email mediaexperts@villanova.edu or call 610-519-5152.


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