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See Harvey Weinstein surrender to police

Watch Harvey Weinstein surrender to New York police related to sexual misconduct charges.

Posted: May 25, 2018 8:19 PM
Updated: May 25, 2018 8:19 PM

Harvey Weinstein's voluntary surrender to the NYPD is a long-awaited victory for the #MeToo movement: Weinstein will actually be held criminally responsible for his alleged conduct -- he faces charges that he raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex on him. As far too many victims know, most who perpetrate such criminal acts are almost never held accountable.

I asked in a previous column whether or not the #MeToo movement, incited by bombshell articles about Weinstein in the New York Times and the New Yorker last October, would infiltrate the court system in meaningful ways.

Now it has. We are no longer simply at a cultural inflection point surrounding our long collective tolerance of sexual assault; we are at a legal inflection point as well.

Cy Vance, Manhattan's district attorney, drew scathing rebuke for his failure to make a criminal case against Weinstein in 2015 even when presented with evidence of the NYPD's undercover sting operation, which produced an apparent admission by Weinstein, captured on audio, that he had touched the breast of Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.

("Why yesterday you touch my breast?," she asks Weinstein on the recording. "Oh, please. I'm sorry. Just come on in. I'm used to that," he replies, adding "I won't do it again. Come on, sit here. Sit here for a minute, please?")

And many of Weinstein's accusers had signed non-disclosure agreements with him and/or the Weinstein Company after complaints were raised, making a delayed criminal prosecution of him more difficult for authorities.

On Friday, however, such a prosecution had its first steps with the sexual assault charges against Weinstein. They stem from his alleged conduct against Lucia Evans, an actor who said that Weinstein forced her to engage in oral sex with him in 2004 at the Miramax office in TriBeCa. The alleged rape victim has not been identified.

Weinstein's representative has said he sought treatment after the accusations and said any allegations of nonconsensual sex were "unequivocally denied."

If Weinstein seeks to go to trial on these charges, he could learn some lessons from Bill Cosby's sexual assault trials for the aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand. Weinstein will likely be faced with the same problem as Cosby: there will be many, many alleged prior victims willing to testify against Weinstein, potentially helping prosecutors show a criminal pattern or practice of Weinstein over the course of many years.

In Cosby's June 2017 criminal trial, which took place before news of the Weinstein scandal broke, prosecutors sought to introduce testimony from 13 of Cosby's prior accusers, but the judge only allowed one to testify. In Cosby's retrial -- after the #MeToo movement -- the same judge allowed five such witnesses to testify.

There is no other reasonable explanation for why the judge changed his mind from one trial to the next regarding these witnesses other than that such evidence suddenly seemed more relevant (and we will see how that issue plays out with Cosby's inevitable appeal).

Quite simply, the #MeToo movement has so fundamentally altered our collective consciousness -- and conscience -- (and therefore, one surmises, that of juries) that Cosby never stood a chance in his second trial.

So what is next for Weinstein legally? He will be afforded all of the due process rights that criminal defendants enjoy in our justice system every day, and he's got one of the best criminal defense attorneys in town defending him.

In all likelihood, Weinstein will take a deal, rather than risk going to trial, and serve his time. And his victims will be able to take some comfort in his finally being held liable for his alleged crimes -- and even more so in the knowledge that the future Harvey Weinsteins of the world will be brought to justice in a post-#MeToo legal system.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 145465

Reported Deaths: 2491
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Hennepin36126997
Ramsey14966377
Dakota10420139
Anoka9573156
Washington649074
Stearns647850
Scott366636
Olmsted344930
St. Louis333074
Wright282516
Clay259145
Nobles236818
Blue Earth21367
Carver19167
Sherburne189924
Kandiyohi18695
Rice174210
Mower155318
Winona136219
Crow Wing120822
Chisago11912
Benton109012
Lyon10446
Beltrami9839
Otter Tail9808
Waseca95010
Todd9337
Polk8845
Morrison8529
Steele8173
Itasca80617
Douglas8044
Nicollet78318
Freeborn7275
Goodhue68211
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Becker6654
Martin63718
McLeod6294
Isanti6196
Pine5960
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Hubbard4695
Cass4385
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Meeker3703
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Yellow Medicine3096
Murray3023
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Fillmore2840
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Houston2492
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Swift2322
Jackson2261
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Koochiching1775
Pope1740
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Marshall1611
Wilkin1484
Lac qui Parle1473
Clearwater1431
Norman1410
Lake1390
Mahnomen1342
Grant1094
Red Lake842
Traverse610
Kittson540
Lake of the Woods471
Cook200

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 124963

Reported Deaths: 1700
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk20019290
Woodbury753099
Linn6256134
Black Hawk6154102
Johnson610731
Dubuque563959
Scott501843
Story416418
Dallas364047
Pottawattamie343145
Sioux259517
Buena Vista231812
Marshall217136
Webster200915
Plymouth176731
Wapello161062
Clinton159028
Muscatine156058
Cerro Gordo154527
Des Moines153911
Crawford140015
Warren13477
Jasper124034
Carroll123113
Henry11495
Marion109211
Lee103412
Tama102138
Delaware84314
Dickinson8159
Wright7781
Boone7659
Mahaska75125
Bremer7459
Jackson7193
Harrison71217
Washington71212
Benton6782
Lyon5868
Clay5684
Louisa54915
Jones5374
Winnebago52719
Clayton5263
Winneshiek5259
Cedar5217
Hardin5187
Buchanan5155
Kossuth5020
Hamilton4945
Poweshiek49411
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Emmet46221
Cass4563
Iowa45610
Mills4403
Cherokee4342
Page4270
Fayette4224
Guthrie42115
Allamakee4189
Sac4174
Butler4163
Shelby4112
Franklin40118
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Chickasaw3821
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Taylor2632
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