Can Harvey Weinstein, the Poster Boy of #MeToo, Get a Fair Day in Court?

The Harvey Weinstein rape case will not be just another celebrity trial, but rather a focal point for a worldwide reckoning on sexual violence and workplace gender discrimination.

Weinstein’s attorneys, led by star litigator Benjamin Brafman, will have their work cut out in finding jurors who can set that context aside and evaluate the case with fresh eyes.

“I think this is almost an impossible case to win for Brafman,” said Bennett Gershman, a professor of law at Pace University in New York, who predicts that the case will not even get to a trial. “Weinstein is the poster boy for sexual predatory conduct. He’s the most reviled sexual predator in memory. There are so many pressures on Weinstein to avoid a trial and take a plea.”

It is, of course, early to say how the case will go. Weinstein faces three counts, including first degree rape, third degree rape, and forcible oral sex, with a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Prosecutors have disclosed only the slimmest details of the allegations, and one of the accusers remains anonymous. It is not clear how much corroboration there will be, or how strong the witnesses’ accounts will be on the stand.

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