Harvey Weinstein’s Legal Team Says Health Is At Risk After Conviction For Sex Crimes

According to a spokesman for the Harvey Weinstein legal team, the newly convicted man “can go stir crazy just staring at the emptiness” of his hospital room. He should get accustomed to it, because it’s about to get a whole lot worse when he’s carted off to prison. Weinstein faces a potentially 29-year prison sentence for the sexual assault and rape of two women; one in 2006 and another in 2013.

Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual harassment was one of the catalysts for the #MeToo movement, and his incarceration will certainly serve as a stark reminder that this type of behavior has serious, lifelong consequences. 

He is scheduled to receive his sentence on March 11. 

Naturally, his legal team says it will appeal the jury’s verdict. Spokesman Juda Engelmayer said, “It’s scaring him. I think he’s melancholy. He’s very, very low right now.”

Engelmayer went on to describe the hospital bedroom as akin to a jail cell. He was admitted there after complaining of chest pain on his way to New York City’s Rikers Island. Weinstein is known to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, but those looking from the outside inward have their doubts about the situation. Regardless, he is currently under guard, has limited visitation rights, but is allowed to make calls from a hospital common area.

Defense lawyer Arthur Aidala described Weinstein’s state of mind differently, saying he was “upbeat” and “in pretty good spirits.”

Although a whopping 80 women accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, the statute of limitation on most of those alleged encounters had passed. Weinstein argued that the women had lied, and that the sexual encounters were consensual.

Gloria Allred, a representative for some of those women, says that his treatment might be preferential. She wonders why Weinstein isn’t being treated inside Rikers.

Weinstein has lost nearly all his supporters over the course of the trial, but not longtime friend William Currao, who was once his college roommate. “He’s a friend,” Currao said. “I can’t just cut off a friend because of what they’ve done or not done.”

But of course his sentiments are very much at odds with most people within our society, who base their friends off of exactly what they’ve done or not done. 

While the jury did find Weinstein guilty of the aforementioned charges, it did acquit him of others. 

Directly after the verdict was read, Weinstein said, “But I’m innocent.”

He was handcuffed and led away.

Are Sex Offender Registries Constitutional? Do They Support The Crimes Committed?

It’s impossible to argue against the idea that sex offenders are some of the worst criminals who we incarcerate. But sex offenders are also some of the least impactful criminals who we incarcerate. When we say the words “sex offender,” a lot of ideas probably come to mind: rapist, predator, pedophile, etc. That’s not always an accurate depiction of who falls into the category, though. 

Those who have been accused of prostitution, soliciting prostitution, or even public urination are sometimes forced to register — having their lives destroyed in the process.

And it’s the latter group of people who are inspiring others to question the supposed legality of these laws. Are we unwittingly supporting cruel and unusual punishment? Is it really constitutional to destroy a person’s life because an individual decides to pee in a public space? Because that’s realistically what happens when a person is forced to register as a sex offender

Almost everyone who is told to register will be bound by severe restrictions on being in the presence of certain other groups, like children. But more importantly, these registries severely limit a person’s ability to find work. That’s a pretty rough punishment for a person who stepped outside to urinate.

Often, stigmas are worse. Being on a sex registry doesn’t tell anyone who learns about it what a convicted sex offender actually did to support their being on it. Those registries provide general information like address and picture, often without relevant supporting context. Is it really just to provide people with a person’s address? Doesn’t that simply place them in danger for no reason? 

Many of these crimes include pornographic pictures. A conviction for looking at banned pornography can land someone in jail for decades, but there’s no evidence to support the idea that a person who looks at one of these pictures will engage in inappropriate or illegal conduct outside of their own home. And that’s an issue some people are finding somewhat controversial.

Here are other pertinent facts, according to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers: “About 95% of sexual offenses are committed by previously unknown offenders. Resources committed to known offenders could be better spent on primary prevention. About 97% of juveniles and nine of 10 adults do not sexually reoffend. Resources should focus on repeat offenders, while onerous civil regulations should be challenged.”

And that’s another issue. Most of these crimes we classify as “sexual” in nature don’t involve children, even though the term “sex offender” most certainly connotes a crime committed by an adult on a child victim. They’re neither violent nor do they have an effect on anyone else. Should we really be paying taxpayer money to incarcerate people for immoral acts that don’t actually affect the public good?

What are the different types of sex crimes?

Sex crimes is a very broad category, which encompasses a wide variety of criminal offenses. Typically, they involve forceful, coerced, or illegal sexual conduct with another individual. Charges vary with the sex crime committed and the state in which it was committed. Furthermore, each state defines a statute of limitations, or a time limit in which the victim of a sex crime can file a lawsuit against the offender. Common sex crimes include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual abuse
  • Rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Prostitution
  • Indecent exposure
  • Child pornography possession

Sexual Assault

Any form of unwanted sexual contact with another individual, most often without their consent. Sexual assault is commonly referred to as rape, which is an extremely serious charge that can tarnish reputations and result in the loss of many freedoms. In Arizona, if the victim was under the age of fifteen, the penalties are much tougher.

Sexual Abuse

In Arizona, a sexual abuse charge is divided into two categories. The first case is when an individual knowingly engages in sexual contact with anyone over the age of fifteen without their consent. The second form of sexual abuse is when an individual engages in sexual contact with someone under the age of fifteen, but the contact only involves the female breast.

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape occurs when one individual engages in sexual activity with another individual who is under the age of consent. Even if there was no force and consent was given, sexual activity with an underage individual is considered statutory rape. The age of consent varies by state, ranging from 16 to 18 years old. In Arizona, the age of consent is 18 years old, and thus individuals aged 17 or younger are legally unable to consent to sexual activity.

Prostitution

Sexual activity is considered prostitution when the sexual acts are for any form payment. In Arizona, to be found guilty of prostitution the state must be able to prove the following three elements were present:

  • Money or something of value was offered
  • Intent on engaging in the sexual act
  • Substantial act in furtherance of offer

Charges for prostitution range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on any prior similar offenses.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure occurs when an individual exposes their genitals in public. For it to be considered indecent exposure, the individual must be reckless and offensive about it. Thus, being nude in a locker room would not be considered indecent exposure, as it is not reckless if nudity is expected. In the state of Arizona, if the individual is over fifteen years old, indecent exposure is considered a class 1 misdemeanor. Under the age of fifteen, the charge is a class 6 felony.

Child Pornography Possession

Child pornography crimes, also known as the sexual exploitation of a minor, are typically viewed by society as some of the most heinous criminal offenses. Thus, they are treated very seriously under the law. In Arizona, three types acts related to child pornography are explicitly banned: possession, distribution, and creation. The penalty if found guilty for any of these three acts is very severe. Each charge carries a minimum of ten years in prison, with a long probation and mandatory sex offender registration.

Charged With a Sex Crime?

If you have been accused of allegedly committing a sex crime, it is in your best interest to contact a defense attorney experienced in sex crimes. The laws regarding these crimes can be very complex, and a good lawyer can best explain them to you and their consequences.