Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault, third-degree rape .

Accusers of Harvey Weinstein have welcomed the guilty verdicts in the rape and sexual assault case against the former Hollywood mogul. Actress Rose McGowan told the BBC “this is a great day”, while others said the ruling brought hope to victims that their voices would be heard. Weinstein, 67, was convicted in New York City of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act.

He was cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault. Weinstein faces up to 25 years in prison over the guilty verdicts relating to two women. His lawyers say he will appeal. “I’m innocent. How can this happen in America?” Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala quoted his client as saying. The former movie executive still faces charges in Los Angeles of assaulting two women in 2013.

In all, at least 80 women had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek. Most of those complaints, however, have not led to criminal charges, as they are beyond the statute of limitations – meaning they happened too long ago. The allegations were at the centre of the #MeToo movement that prompted women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men.

Weinstein once enjoyed phenomenal success with Oscar winners such Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, The King’s Speech and Shakespeare in Love. He was taken to New York’s Bellevue Hospital reportedly suffering from chest pains after the verdict was announced. He had been due to be moved to prison on Riker’s Island to await sentencing.

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