Can you hear me? Yes, go on. Yes. OK. Good morning. Welcome. Thank you for being here. John Daly, Mary Ann Daly, Jessica Shaw, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lauren Young. Megan asked Joan illuzzi about. When will that change the course of history? In the fight against sexual violence, these are eight women in our justice system into the 21st century by declaring that rape is rape and sexual assault and sexual assault no matter what.
Rape is rape, whether it's committed by a stranger in a dark alley or by an intimate partner in a working relationship. It's rape, whether it's committed by an indigent person or a man of immense power, prestige and privilege. Rape is rape. Whether the survivor reports within an hour, within a year, or perhaps never. It's rape. Despite the complicated dynamics of power and consent, after an assault, it's rape, even if there is no physical evidence.
And even if it happened a long time ago, this is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America, I believe. And this is a new day. It's a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed. The women who came forward courageously and at great risk made that happen. Weinstein is a vicious serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silences victims. He has been found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and will face, on that count, a state prison sentence of no less than five years and up to 25 years.
To the jurors, I want to thank the jurors for their service and careful attention. Their verdict turned the page in our justice system. A men like Harvey Weinstein, I want to say thank you to the assistant district attorney's paralegals and analysts who worked on this case, including MAXINE Rosenthal, Kevin Wilson, Shannon Goldberg, Harry Dunn, John Irwin, Alyssa Marino, Andy Clark, Danny mhaith Cruise, Stephanie Lytell and Emily Holguin, and especially to Harriet Galvin, Megan Hassed and Joan illuzzi Auburn, who conducted a terribly difficult and meticulous investigation and performed masterly a trial under the brightest of spotlights.
And finally, to the survivors of Harvey Weinstein, I owe. And we all owe an immense debt to you who had the courage beyond measure to speak your story to the world, to this courtroom at great personal risk and in great personal pain. So those of us who were privileged to be in the courtroom when they testified, you know what I did? These survivors weren't just brave. They were heroic. Words can't describe adequately the sacrifices the survivors made to pursue Justice Wainstein, with his manipulation of his resources, his attorneys, his publicists and his spies did everything he could to silence the survivors.
But they refused to be silent. They spoke from their hearts and they were heard they were heard by Weinstein's other survivors and by sexual predators all over the world. They sacrificed their privacy and self-protection, knowing better than anyone the extent of Weinstein's power, manipulation, retribution and abuse. To them, I would say you broke silence to hold him accountable. And believe me when I say that, because you have done so, a generation of sexual assault survivors and all of us hurt your every word.
Thank you. I'll take a couple of questions there.
Are you fully satisfied with this verdict or in some way you came up short. You just mentioned could be as little as five years?
Well, I'm certainly not dissatisfied by the verdict. I think this was a very difficult case, a very challenging case and a case that really moved our understanding of what sexual assault is, where it can occur. Shattered myths that I think have been part of the criminal justice system for a long time. So I believe a felony conviction with a maximum of up to 25 years is is it is not the top counts of the indictment. But by no means do I.
Am I disappointed with the jury's unanimous statement that Harvey Weinstein is guilty of sexual assault?
And your impressions? Sure. It appears the jury repudiated. Many concerns that women are going to have to endure such terrible work at the hands of these lawyers.
Well, I think with regard to Jessica Mann, probably wisely was COMMITT was convicted for rape in the third degree.
Miss Europe took great risk and was in substantial pain that morning about what happened to her many years ago. I can't look behind the jury's verdict of how they arrived at that. We have to respect that process. But by no means is it a statement against me. Sure. Or against anything she said in court. Jurors find a way through to a solution that they believe adequately brings them all together with the unanimous verdict in terms of the cross-examination. I think we saw cross examination that the times that we've seen for years and years and years.
I hope that with this verdict, it will become more obvious that those kinds of attacks on the survivors and victims, whether on the stand, making it seem like it's all their fault, will be realized as legal attacks that just simply are no longer going will work in this day and age. And it's time that lawyers start using them and continuing the myths that I think the jury verdict must have. And with women coming forward quite along with women, maybe.
Well, first of all, I would say that deal with this. What do you write with this with this verdict? I hope that survivors will see that in this justice system, prosecutors, judges and juries will believe that even when the facts are not simple and even when the dynamics of the relationships between the survivors and the abuser are complicated. So I think the message is, this is a big day. This is a new day. And I hope women will.
I hope women will understand the significance of the jury verdict today in terms of the time it takes to report a sexual assault. We cannot put ourselves in the shoes of a victim of sexual assault to understand what is going through his or her mind. You heard on the witness stand. The reasons why a number of these women survivors did not come forward. They were deathly afraid of Harvey Weinstein. For one thing. And that he would ruin their career.
So there's all sorts of dynamics that make survivors of sexual assault not comfortable to come forward. However, those stories are now part of part of what we all now understand better after this trial that survivors have to go through. So, Dean, I think my hope is with this verdict of survivors of sexual assault, whether it's of Mr. Weinstein or whether it's someone else will come forward and and our office and others like our office will, I hope, be there to listen to them and to help them move forward.
Thank you. Thank you so much, everybody. Have a good day.