Women deserve Weinstein's conviction

Illustration by Diana Ortega

Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein has been accused more than 80 times by women who bravely spoke out about him sexually assaulting them.

Some of his accusations go as far back as 1980, and are as recent as 2016. Weinstein coaxed his victims into his web by promising to better their careers in exchange for sexual favors.

Many of the women state he would tell them to come to his hotel room to discuss building their film industry careers. They say that once they were in his room he would begin to close in on them like a predator with its prey.

Coverage of his trial began Jan. 6, and is projected to last until early March. Weinstein has been free for too long. The women he has attacked have been diminished from their horrific experiences and have been driven into silence.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect about Weinstein is his power. Lauren O’Connor, Weinstein accuser and former literary scout for the Weinstein Company, stated in a letter to the Weinstein executives, “The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.”

Once allegations, became public, Weinstein split from his eponymous company, The Weinstein Company, that he founded with his brother, Bob. Before the accusations, Weinstein was an absolute powerhouse in the entertainment industry. The New York Times reported, “He has collected six Best Picture Oscars and turned out a number of touchstones, from the films “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting” to the TV show “Project Runway.”

According to The New York Times, Weinstein has paid off accusers and forced them to sign contracts, which contain confidentiality clauses. The contracts forbid them to speak about their respective payouts and the events that led to them.

When looking at the evidence, the quantity and quality of these statements should be enough to put Weinstein behind bars.

Each of the women describes eerily similar situations when reporting their experiences with Weinstein. Many of them said they went to his hotel room where he forced them to perform sexual acts or raped them if they didn’t consent.

More than 80 accusations is not some sort of hoax or inexplicable phenomenon.

The bottom line is that these 80 women have suffered for too long while seeing their assaulter free and thriving. They deserve to feel as though the judicial system is working in their favor.

Thus far, the courts have made a mockery of the victims’ misery. Deadline published an article, which states Weinstein’s defense lawyer, Donna Rotunno, framed situations in a conditional way by using the word “allegedly.”

It is traumatizing for the women to recall and describe their sexual assault incidents on trial. To then add a layer of denial and refusal to their statements is what pushes other women into being afraid of reporting sexual assault.

It’s virtually impossible to imagine the amount of torment these women are going through.

Harvey Weinstein deserves to serve time in prison.

Weinstein has done nothing but agonize his accusers and pay his way out of prison. No person should have as much power as he has in any industry. He has been given the authority to turn any situation similar in nature in his favor. He has spun a web of deceit and lies in which he traps his accusers.

If Weinstein is handed a “get out of jail free” card at the end of this trial, I will have lost all hope in our judicial system. For the sake of all women, Weinstein deserves life behind bars.