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'Mixed verdict' in Weinstein case may disappoint some #MeToo supporters: scholar

Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse for jury deliberations in his rape trial, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in New York. Weinstein was convicted Monday of rape and sexual assault against two women and was immediately handcuffed and led off to jail, sealing his dizzying fall from powerful Hollywood studio boss to archvillain of the #MeToo movement. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The verdict in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual-assault trial is in, but Canadian experts say it remains to be seen how the landmark #MeToo case will be judged by history.

The fallen movie mogul was convicted Monday on charges stemming from a 2006 sexual assault and a 2013 rape, but the jury found Weinstein not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.

Halifax legal scholar Wayne MacKay says the “mixed verdict” may disappoint some #MeToo supporters, because it doesn’t account for the alleged pattern of “predatory” behaviour that helped galvanize the movement.

Sociologist Judith Taylor says the fact that Weinstein has to face criminal repercussions likely comes as a “relief” to sexual-assault survivors who long ago lost faith in the legal system as a mechanism for justice.

The associate professor at University of Toronto says the high-profile case showed the “extraordinary camaraderie” among the women who testified in support of those bringing charges.

Canadian actor Mia Kirshner, who was among the dozens of Weinstein accusers watching the trial, tweeted that Weinstein was “found guilty. He is. He did this.”

The Canadian Press