Harvey Weinstein’s Legal Reprecussions

This week on Good Morning America, Dan discussed the on-going scandal following former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company. Weinstein faces numerous allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by female colleagues and actors, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ashley Judd, following explosive exposes by the New York Times and the New Yorker.

While Weinstein has largely been condemned by the public, being ousted from his executive position with the Weinstein Company and being expelled from his role with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the governing body of the Oscars awards, Dan discusses the potential legal ramifications Weinstein could face from his accusers. While over 40 women have come forward with allegations ranging from inappropriate comments and touching to assault, Dan notes that of the names listed in the exposes, only one case meets the statute of limitations and degree of assault to potentially take Weinstein to trial. In addition, the victim would have to pursue a criminal case herself–a feat that only occurs in .011% of rape cases (https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system).

Although the New York Police Department has cited that they are actively investigating the allegations against Weinstein, Dan notes that the likeliest occurrence of the former movie producer facing a criminal trial would result from new accusations of first degree sexual assault occurring within the last 15 years. Dan also discusses the possibility of members of the Weinstein Company board facing legal charges. Reports have suggested that members of the board knew of at least five settlements reached with victims of Weinstein, cases that no longer merit legal charges. For any members of the board to be held legally accountable, Dan states that the charges would have to be relatively recent and explicitly argue that board members knew of Weinstein’s harassment and/or assault and did not stop him.

Watch below:
Dan discusses Harvey Weinstein