Harvey Weinstein’s team to appeal court verdicts

Harvey Weinstein’s defense team plan to appeal his court verdict, after he was found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sex act.

Harvey Weinstein leaves from the court on January 6, 2020 in New York City. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

The 67-year-old producer was found guilty on the two counts by a jury in Manhattan on Monday morning (Feb. 24), as part of his sexual assault trial which saw him face five charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act.

And whilst he was found not guilty on the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault – which could have seen him land a life sentence in prison – his defense team have said they will “absolutely be appealing” the verdict in the hopes of getting it overturned.

Weinstein’s lead attorney Donna Rotunno told The Hollywood Reporter: “Obviously, this is a bittersweet day. We are disappointed. We knew we came in and we were down 35-0 on the day that we started this trial.

“He took it like a man. He knows that we will continue to fight for him and knows that this is not over.”

— Donna Rotunno

“The jurors came in knowing everything they could know about this case. We couldn’t find a juror who had never heard of Harvey Weinstein.

“[We will] absolutely be appealing [the verdict]. The fight is not over.”

Rotunno added it was “horrible” to see Weinstein taken to jail after the verdicts on Monday, where he will remain until he is sentenced on March 11.

She said: “It is absolutely horrible for me to watch my client be taken into custody. We don’t feel good about that at all.

“Harvey is very strong. Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man. He knows that we will continue to fight for him and knows that this is not over.”

Weinstein’s verdict is considered to be a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement which was sparked by the expose published about Weinstein’s sexual misconduct by The New York Times in October 2017.