NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday of rape and sexual assault against two women and was led off to prison in handcuffs, sealing his dizzying fall from powerful Hollywood studio boss to archvillain of the #MeToo movement.
The 67-year-old Weinstein had a look of resignation on his face as he heard the verdict that could put him away for the rest of his life. The charges carry up to 29 years behind bars.
“This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America, I believe, and it is a new day. It is a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. “Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault and trick, humiliate and silence his victims.” Weinstein’s lawyers said they will appeal.
“Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man,” defense attorney Donna Rotunno said. “He knows that we will continue to fight for him, and we know that this is not over.” Another of his lawyers, Arthur Aidala, quoted Weinstein as telling his legal team, “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?”
The jury of seven men and five women took five days to find Weinstein guilty of raping an aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006 by forcibly performing oral sex on her.
He was acquitted on the most serious charges, two counts of predatory sexual assault, each carrying up to life in prison. Both of those counts hinged on the testimony of “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein barged into her apartment, raped her and forcibly performed oral sex on her in the mid-1990s.
Judge James Burke ordered Weinstein taken to jail immediately. Court officers surrounded Weinstein, handcuffed him and led him out of the courtroom via a side door without the use of the walker he relied on for much of the trial. The judge said he will ask that Weinstein, who had been free on bail since his arrest nearly two years ago, be held in the infirmary after his lawyers said he needs medical attention following unsuccessful back surgery.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The new virus took aim at a broadening swath of the globe Monday, with officials in Europe and the Middle East scrambling to limit the spread of an outbreak that showed signs of stabilizing at its Chinese epicenter but posed new threats far beyond.
In Italy, authorities set up roadblocks, called off soccer matches and shuttered sites including the famed La Scala opera house. In Iran, the government said 12 people had died nationwide, while five neighboring countries — Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan — reported their first cases of the virus, with all those infected having links to Iran.
Across the world, stock markets and futures tumbled on fears of a global economic slowdown due to the expanding spread of the virus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 1,000 points, its biggest decline in two years.
The number of people sickened by the coronavirus topped 79,000 globally, and wherever it sprung up, officials rushed to try to contain it. “The past few weeks has demonstrated just how quickly a new virus can spread around the world and cause widespread fear and disruption,” said the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely, yes,” Ghebreyesus said, but “for the moment we’re not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus.”
“I have spoken consistently about the need for facts not fear. Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts but it may certainly cause fear,” Ghebreyesus said, speaking in Geneva.
He said a WHO expert team currently in China believes the virus plateaued there between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2 and has declined since. The team also said the fatality rate in China was between 2% and 4% in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and 0.7% outside of Wuhan.
Clusters of the virus continued to emerge outside China, including in Qom, an Iranian city where the country’s semiofficial ILNA news agency cited a lawmaker as reporting a staggering 50 people had died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The country’s Health Ministry rejected that, insisting the death toll remained at 12, with total infections numbering 61.
BERLIN (AP) — A man intentionally drove a car into a crowd at a Carnival parade in a small town in central Germany, injuring around 30 people including children, officials said.
The driver, a 29-year-old German citizen who lived locally, was arrested at the scene in Volkmarsen near Kassel, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin, prosecutors said. He is being investigated on suspicion of attempted homicide.
A spokesman for Frankfurt prosecutors, Alexander Badle, said in a statement that “about 30 people” were injured. They were taken to surrounding hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries.
The suspect was also injured, said Badle.
“The investigation, especially into the circumstances of the crime, continues,” he said. “In particular, no information can yet be provided about a motive. The investigation is exploring all avenues.”