Harvey Weinstein, once the most powerful mogul in modern Hollywood history, is officially a convicted felon. He was found guilty on two charges of committing a first-degree criminal sex act and third degree rape.
He was acquitted of of two counts of predatory sexual assault, but still faces up to 25 years in prison. He must also still stand trial for charges filed in Los Angeles.
Weinstein, who is 67 and appeared in frail health at the trial, could be a prime candidate for a pardon from President Donald Trump.
Trump last week pardoned 11 mostly white-collar criminals and corrupt politicians last week who all had a common denominator– friendship, fame, money, personal empathy and a shared sense of persecution, according to The New York Times.
Weinstein seems to qualify on most of those factors. Despite massive payouts to some of his victims, he is still wealthy and counts many friends in high places who could be persuasive if the appeal to the president.
Trump certainly can relate through personal empathy and a shared sense of persecution.
At least 25 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct since the 1970s. Like Weinstein, Trump accusers all went public because of the #MeToo movement and a national conversation concerning sexual misconduct.
Trump even implicated himself in sexual misconduct in his infamous 2005 open mic conversation with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said in the 2005 conversation. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”
Many of the women accusing Trump were spurred to go public by the “Access Hollywood” tape.
Bush’s career was ruined. Trump, who has denied ever sexually assaulting women, went on to win the election.
If Trump holds true to form, he could find every reason to believe the Weinstein was unfairly persecuted. He could pardon him as a way of bolstering his own defense against sex assault claims.
He vowed to sue every one of the women once the election was over. But he has yet to take any legal action. But two women have sued him.
What’s even more telling, the White House maintains that Trump’s election proves the American people don’t consider the allegations disqualifying. If they’re not in his case, why would he let them stand in Weinstein’s case?
The only thing preventing Trump from being prosecuted is the Office of the Presidency, and a Department of Justice policy not to prosecute a sitting president.
During Weinstein’s trial, six women testified against him, each alleged sexual assault.
The two counts of predatory sexual assault were based on the testimony of Annabella Sciorra, who gained fame as Gloria Trillo in the HBO show “The Sopranos.”
But two other women apparently gave compelling testimony.
Miriam Haley, a former television production assistant, claimed Weinstein performed forced oral sex on her at his Manhattan apartment in 2006.
Jessica Mann, then an aspiring actress, alleged Weinstein raped her in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
In an odd twist to the case, and perhaps a testament to his power, both woman acknowledged they continued seeing Weinstein and had consensual sex with him.
But prosecutors said the behavior fit Weinstein’s MO. They portrayed him as manipulative and controlling through his power to make or break careers in Hollywood.
Weinstein still faces felony charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint in Los Angeles County, which encompasses the greater LA area, according to CNN.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey revealed the charges the same day Weinstein appeared in a New York court for the start of his criminal trial.