Why sexual assault is hard to prosecute

Less than 1% of sexual assaults end in conviction — a fact that’s relevant to Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing trial. Here's why.

As with sexual assault, rape is defined differently in each state

Harvey Weinstein could spend the rest of his life in prison if he's convicted of sexual assault charges. The defense only needs one juror, one juror to hold out and say, “You know what? I'm not so sure that they proved him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Despite high-profile cases getting national attention with the rise of the #MeToo movement, sexual assault remains very difficult to prosecute. Less than 1% of sexual assaults end in a conviction according to U.S. Justice Dept. stats.

The reason many didn't come forward

“We used to think of a rape in many situations as kind of a stranger on stranger crime. Neither of them knew each other. Someone breaks into their house and they're forcibly raped. And then we started to realize that that's not the only way a sex crime can happen. A sex crime can happen on a date, and it can happen in a marriage. It can happen in a relationship. And so now definitely the prosecutors’ offices are being more open to various types of crimes within that realm”, Julie Rendelman, former New York prosecutor tells Brut.

Rape is also the most underreported crime

63% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police in line with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. More than 80 women have publicly accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The New York case centers on 2 women — former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, and an unnamed woman who alleges he raped her in 2013. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denies any non-consensual sexual relations. Weinstein also faces sex assault charges in Los Angeles. Rendelman has over 20 years of legal experience. She says prosecutors now look at sexual crimes more broadly.


01/18/2020 12:57 PM


  • Cem D.
    02/18/2020 19:58

    Harvey may sexually assault to somebody. But why did these victims wait until 1 year ago? Because, they were given main or supporting roles by Harvey. This is how Hollywood and Hollywood moguls work.

  • Matthew D.
    02/01/2020 00:57

    If there is no way to prove a crime, a person should not be convicted. To add to that, if a person accuses someone without sufficient evidence, that person should be the one punished. Just as the accused would have been. This is why a person who has been sexually assaulted NEEDS to immediately talk to police and have a test kit administered. Sorry if you are embarrassed or shy.. Do it anyway.

  • James G.
    01/30/2020 22:54

    Bill went blind before he went in for the record.

  • James G.
    01/30/2020 22:53

    This fool may walk ( not literally walk) cause he crippled . They just have bad models and actresses talking no real evidence. He saying it never happened. Bill should’ve said same thing .

  • Janice C.
    01/30/2020 17:46

    And people wonder why so many do not report it!

  • Douglas S.
    01/30/2020 00:55

    Well what do expect Weinstein donated money to Clinton's and Obama's he's the democrats friends the they like their molesters and rapist so much they make them senators mayors president.

  • Charlie C.
    01/29/2020 10:00

    I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison.

  • Joseph I.
    01/29/2020 00:33

    A dough boy.

  • Terry P.
    01/29/2020 00:29

    If Bill Cosby can get prison time, so can Harvey Weinstein.

  • Brian M.
    01/27/2020 11:07

    Than tell women to stop making false allegations because that is what is undermining actual victims

  • Martin W.
    01/27/2020 01:09

    Nothing says "Stop touching me" like a sucking chest wound, just saying.

  • Lisa T.
    01/27/2020 00:34

    All of a sudden He's to weak to walk without help. Lol

  • Zachary P.
    01/25/2020 07:39

    Rule of law

  • Zachary P.
    01/25/2020 07:39

    Nor defending him

  • Zachary P.
    01/25/2020 07:36

    Hence reported?

  • Zachary P.
    01/25/2020 07:36

    Cause for those not reported had too go through a channel which makes them reported?

  • Zachary P.
    01/25/2020 07:35

    Bad reporting

  • Zachary P.
    01/25/2020 07:34

    1 question, how do you know a certain percent where not reporterd?

  • Henry H.
    01/25/2020 05:57

    Women will go after money and fame. LoL

  • Chuck M.
    01/24/2020 23:01

    Be careful.