It is bewildering to me that testimonies of sexual harassment and sexual assault from dozens of individuals have not negated the need for me to express my opinion that Harvey Weinstein is a serial sex offender who deserves to be imprisoned for the rest of his life, at the very least. Since Oct. 2017, journalists have written article after article about the most recent claims against the power-abusing film producer, the most recent of which cover two new charges of sexual assault.
According to The New York Times and the National Review, the new indictments have moved the trial back to January and will allow Annabella Sciorra and three other witnesses to testify. Sciorra has publicly shared that Weinstein raped her in 1993, but cannot press charges because her case falls outside of the statute of limitations, and the same is true for the other three women, although the specific offenses were not identified.
CNN reported that Weinstein is facing five felony charges in total: one first-degree rape, one thrid-degree rape, two sexual assault charges and one first-degree criminal sexual act. If the two new indictments are duplicative, the case would move forward with the new charges instead of the older ones.
In response to these developments, Donna Rotunno of Weinstein’s defense stated, “the case itself is weak,” but Gloria Allred, representing Sciorra, makes a more valid point: “Why [is the defense] so afraid of having additional witnesses testify?”
If multiple women coming forward with disturbingly parallel stories all perpetuated by the same man is something considered weak, then society should really redefine how it perceives strength, and if Weinstein gets away with all the pain he has caused, then we as a society will have failed to hold him accountable for his actions.
Afterall, the seven total charges are only the current legal aspect of Weinstein’s transgressions against women. The New York Police Department has even captured Weinstein admitting to groping Ambra Battilana Gutierrez on tape in a sting operation, in which he stated he was “used to” perpetrating such acts. The New Yorker interviewed several survivors who shared experiences of Weinstein masturbating in front of them, assaulting them, blackballing them in response to being turned down and more horrifying abuses of his power.
There really shouldn’t be any debate as to whether dozens of women are lying about their experiences. Weinstein has traumatized these women through coercion and outright force, and if you find yourself questioning that, maybe you should question why you want a rapist to get away with being a rapist.