Updated Oct 27, 2020 - Economy

Global #MeToo movement has resulted in 7 convictions, 5 charges of influential figures

This image is a three-way split screen of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Larry Nassar

Bill Cosby, Harvein Weinstein, and Larry Nassar. Photos: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images, Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images, and Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of powerful people — predominately men — have been accused of sexual offenses since the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017. After film producer Harvey Weinstein's conviction, five of them face charges, while seven have been convicted.

Why it matters: The #MeToo movement focused global attention on previously unchecked sexual misconduct, leading at least 201 powerful men to lose jobs or major positions. But the movement, dubbed a global reckoning, has had few legal consequences for the accused. Here are some of the most notable cases.

Those convicted since #MeToo:

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere: A Brooklyn federal court sentenced him to 120 years in prison on Oct. 27, after he was convicted in June 2019 of sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography.

"Smallville" actress Allison Mack: Pleaded guilty in April 2019 to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges for recruiting women to the sex cult, Nxivm. She has not been sentenced as her case works through the Eastern District of New York.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein: A Manhattan jury found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act on Feb. 24, and acquitted him of predatory sexual assault. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

  • Weinstein's conviction in New York stemmed from allegations that he raped an aspiring actress in 2013 and forced oral sex on his production assistant in 2006.
  • He still faces 11 counts of sexual assault in Los Angeles, per AP.
  • Dozens of Weinstein's accusers reached a tentative $25 million payout deal in mid-December with the movie mogul and his studio board as part of a larger $47 million settlement involving civil cases against him, the NYT reports.
  • The #MeToo movement, which was created by civil rights activist Tarana Burke, gained traction after allegations against Weinstein came to light in 2017.

Comedian Bill Cosby: In 2018 on 3 counts of aggravated assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004; sentenced to 3–10 years in state prison, which he is currently serving. Cosby appealed the conviction in late June.

French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault: Jailed in 2018 for raping a woman in 2011.

USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar: In 2018 on 3 counts of sexual assault, sentenced to up to 125 years. More than 260 girls and women claimed Nassar abused them.

Former Michigan State University dean William Strampel: On 2 counts of "willful neglect of duty" and 1 count of felony misconduct relating to the Nassar cases, NPR reports. Strampel was Nassar's boss. He received a concurrent sentence of 1 year in August.

Those charged since #MeToo:

Ghislaine Maxwell: In July for allegedly conspiring with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein by recruiting and grooming multiple underage girls for sexual abuse, per the Southern District of N.Y.

Singer R. Kelly: In December for allegedly bribing an Illinois government employee to create a false ID for 15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton, before marrying her. In February, on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving 4 victims, and in May on 11 counts involving aggravated criminal sexual assault.

  • Kelly is currently being held without bail. He was acquitted in 2008 on child pornography charges.
  • Kelly faces multiple charges in several jurisdictions, AP reports, and is scheduled to go to trial in April in Chicago.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali: In May on indecent assault and battery charges for allegedly groping and forcibly kissing a woman at a restaurant in 2017.

Political adviser Benjamin Sparks: He plans to plead not guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge after felony charges against him were dropped on Oct. 9, a local Las Vegas outlet reported with AP.

  • Sparks' last jury trial on Oct. 14 was canceled and the case returned to lower court, according to Eighth Judicial District Court documents viewed by Axios.

Federal Housing Finance Agency director Mel Watt: The agency's watchdog accused Watt in an unreleased report of 2 counts of misconduct for attempting to "coerce or induce" a relationship with a female employee seeking promotion.

  • The Washington Post said the report was sent to the White House in 2017. President Trump took no action against Watt, a Democrat appointed during the Obama administration. Watt will complete his term in January.
  • Watt was investigated in 2018 for sexually harassing an unnamed female employee. The Postal Service conducted the investigation "to keep the review independent from the FHFA," per Politico. Watt insisted "that he was not subject to FHFA harassment rules."

Those in limbo

Among those under police investigation: Actor Danny Masterson, singer Ryan Adams and magician David Blaine.

Among those under pending lawsuits: Former New York City Ballet principal dancer Chase Finlay, actor James Franco.

Dropped cases

Among those whose cases were dropped by prosecutors or dismissed in court: Actor Kevin Spacey, Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, actor Sylvester Stallone, actor Gérard Depardieu, film director Luc Besson, former Hollywood agent Tyler Grasham, former Disney executive Jon Heely.

Among those who settled with their accusers: Former CDC chief Tom Frieden, former Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley, actor Michael Weatherly, CBS News anchor Charlie Rose, and Italian actress and director Asia Argento.


Multimillionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was charged in July with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He was found dead in an apparent suicide before his tentative mid-2020 trial date, and the criminal case was officially dismissed in late August. At least 1 civil suit against his estate is ongoing, as are investigations into others who may have recruited young girls for him.

Go deeper: #MeToo vs. statutes of limitations

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest information and clarifies that singer R. Kelly was charged with 11 additional counts involving aggravated criminal sexual assault in May.

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