Tag Archives: #HarveyWeinstein

Weinstein and the “Silence Breakers” – Remarkable Contrast in Character

Weinstein “Silence Breaker” Louise Godbold and I at the start of jury selection

January 6, 2020- In open court, Harvey Weinstein trudged along slowly aided by strong arms at each side while he leaned on his brushed aluminum walker. His bearing seemed pathetically staged to curry sympathy from Judge James B. Burke, and on-lookers. His countenance, weary and beaten, bore no resemblance to someone who, just months ago, controlled the careers of Hollywood stars and the fate of multi-million dollar productions.

“Silence Breakers” Paula Williams and Lauren Savan await their turns at the podium

Across the street from the Manhattan courthouse at 100 Centre Street, eight  beautiful, brave women, who identified themselves as “silence breakers,” gathered in support of the effort to bring Weinstein to justice; Ellen Barkin, Rosanna Arquette, Louise Godbold, Dominque Huett, Sara Ann Masse, Rose McGowan, Lauren Sivan, and Paula Williams.

Articulately, and energetically, they presented their personal statements to the clamoring media.  Several times, the presentation had to be stopped to provide breathing room as the reporters converged on top of each other to get their best view. At one point, I found myself swallowed into the melee with two large, eager, camera wielding press vying for my space-  creating a moment’s scary sense of being besieged by paparazzi.

Rose McGowan, Actor and Weinstein “Silence Breaker”

Rose McGowan cleared all doubt about why survivors need to speak out….

She remarked: “Living in silence is a death threat to your soul!”

Also today, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that Weinstein is being charged with four counts of rape and sexual battery. No matter the result of the New York case, he’ll face further legal consequences for his defiling actions.

Predatory Sexual Assault in New York….

The crimes Weinstein’s charged with rely on the fact that he engaged in sexual conduct without securing consent. Yet, like in most states across the US, New York’s laws fail to define consent. Instead, they rely on the bizarre notion that defining “without consent” is the same as defining “consent.” Clearly, it is not. And when applying a “without consent” litmus test to a crime, only those specific behaviors that the state identifies as “without consent” matter.

The application of law is based on the ancient Roman concept- Nulla pena sine legue – which means, if the law does not specifically state a prohibition, the behavior is not a crime.

Sexual Assault laws are a Swiss cheese umbrella

The methods a person can use to engage in sex crimes are infinite. Selecting a handful of those methods as “prohibited” behavior fails to protect society. Society can only be protected if the concept of “consent” is clear in order for all nonconsensual sex to be recognized as criminal behavior.

Why do we have this bizarre way to address sexual assault?   

Simply put, women, the principle targets of sexual assault, have been considered “less than” throughout the ages. And the gravity of causing them defilement by devious, coercive or violent actions has been seen as trivial by our lawmakers, who, for the most part, have been men.

Rape mentality is embed in our justice system which, for generations, has decidedly determined that only certain ways of conducting sexual assault, not every way of conducting sexual assault, are punishable.

Commonsense dictates that if someone does not consent, no one has the right to impose themselves; just like failure to secure consent results in criminal charges when the offender takes a victim’s property.  But as our laws exist, consent is not actually the benchmark to determine whether or not sexual conduct is legal. Instead, a narrowly stated concept of certain prohibited “without consent” behaviors determines if a crime took place. In Weinstein’s case, although the statutes say that he should have elicited consent from his targets, they fail to define what consent actually is.

Because only conducting sexual contact under certain circumstances of non-consent makes unsecured consent a crime in New York, it remains unclear whether the prosecutor or the defense will make the stronger argument under our absurdly antiquated system.

Overhauling sexual assault laws

If the defense prevails, it proves one and only one thing….. not that Harvey Weinstein is anything but the immoral scumbag we recognize him to be, and that he violated scores of women, but that our laws have failed to protect us against scumbags for centuries, enabling society to develop a callous rape mentality.  And our lawmakers need to protect us and our future generations from defiling sexual conduct.

The right to engage in sexual contact without consent must stop. And it will only stop when our laws state exactly what consent is – free given, knowledgeable, and informed agreement, #FGKIA, just like we recognize it in every code and law dealing with any other “nonsexual” conduct.

Insist that your lawmakers #CodifyConsent in order to protect the residents of your state or jurisdiction.

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Your #Consent is Critical!
http://bit.ly/yourconsent

“This is the primer for defining consent!” Hon. Sally Siegrist, Indiana State Representative.

Get your copy today! 

Is Cruciani a Bellwether for Harvey Weinstein?

Accused of Predatory Sexual Assault, like disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, is back in court in Manhattan on Thursday, October 25th. He’s been charged with misusing his power differential to sexually exploit his patients. The Continue reading Is Cruciani a Bellwether for Harvey Weinstein?

#Weinstein and #Cruciani- Two P’s (for Pecker) in a Pod!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by STEVEN HIRSCH/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9703835c)

July 30- Today’s court date for Harvey Weinstein has been postponed ’til September 20th.

What will happen then? 

Superior Court Justice Jame Burke will deliver his decisions on motions that have been filed “off-calendar” by the prosecution and the defense. Those motions could include a decision to admit evidence of “prior bad acts” into testimony.

New York judges are held to narrower constraints than in Pennsylvania, where admitting testimony from prior victims turned the tide against Bill Cosby.

The impact of consent

If NY’s laws defined consent as “freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA,” convicting Harvey Weinstein would be a slam dunk! But in NY, like many other states, prosecutors are held to convincing the jury that the offender’s conduct meets specific language for a particular act that has been legislated as “without consent” in penal code. This narrow approach makes it difficult to prove whether a sexual assault took place…. not because the case lacks evidence, but because the law simply fails to define the specific type of sexual assault that occurred. Coercing a person into acquiescence should never be seen as “consent” in our laws.

A similar current case in Manhattan could provide clues to Harvey Weinstein’s fate

Accused sex offender, Ricardo Cruciani

Neurologist Ricardo Cruciani is scheduled for a decision on motions on August 2nd. He, like Weinstein, is charged with Predatory Sexual Assault, which carries harsh penalties under NY State law.

Cruciani stands accused by six patients of molesting and sexually assaulting them at his office at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC. One patient described that she felt helpless to resist his attacks because she suffered from chronic pain. He was the only doctor who’d helped manage her pain for several years. Eleven other patients at his practices in PA and NJ made similar claims against him. Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer will announce his decisions on the Cruciani motions on Thursday, August 2nd.

For more information on how consent impacts sexual assault…. watch this TEDx Talk. 

Does a rape victim have to expressly say “NO!” Rowan Radio Interview

Harvey Weinstein- Photo by STEVEN HIRSCH/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9703835c)
New York, USA – 05 Jun 2018

In her very first question for our radio interview, Kaity Kline, Public Affairs Director for Rowan Radio On Demand, 89.7 WGLS FM, wanted to know; Why is it sexual assault even when the victim doesn’t expressly say “no” – like in the case of accused sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein? 

Here’s my explanation. 

Harvey Weinstein clearly lacked “consent!”

Accused rapist Harvey Weinstein heads for court

A handcuffed Harvey Weinstein made his way into court today in lower Manhattan charged with rape and a criminal sex act. Whether he gets locked away or not will depend largely on whether Cy Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, makes the case for applying the Continue reading Harvey Weinstein clearly lacked “consent!”

What is Rape Mentality and How Can We Stop It?

Until #MeToo, rape mentality was far more widespread than society recognized. The fact that so many celebrities, politicians, successful businessmen and more were recently exposed for abhorrent sexual acts, shows how well-hidden rape mentality has been. Even the President of the United States thinks that forcing his wife into sex is acceptable behavior – a recognition that Continue reading What is Rape Mentality and How Can We Stop It?

Invalidation- The Reason Victims Don’t Report Sex Crimes

When you were a child, did your big brother steal from the cookie jar and blame you? Perhaps your parents punished you by having to write 100 times, “I’ll respect my family’s property, I’ll respect my family’s property, I’ll respect my family’s property.”

How did being falsely accused make you feel?  Continue reading Invalidation- The Reason Victims Don’t Report Sex Crimes