Hundreds of powerful people — predominately men — have been accused of sexual offenses since the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017. After Jeffrey Epstein's death, only five of them currently face charges, while six others have been convicted.
Why it matters: The #MeToo movement, which was created by civil rights activist Tarana Burke and gained traction after allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein came to light in 2017, 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:
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.
Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere: In June of sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. Raniere's sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 17, 2020, according to his case docket.
"Smallville" actress Allison Mack: Pleaded guilty in April to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges for recruiting women to the sex cult, Nxivm. She was scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 11, but Judge Garaufis adjourned sentencing on July 15 without setting a new date, according to her case docket.
Those charged since #MeToo:
Film producer Harvey Weinstein: Faced four new felony charges of rape and sexual battery from Los Angeles prosecutors on Jan. 6, the NYT reports — just as he began his Manhattan trial on allegations of raping one woman in 2013 and forcing oral sex on his production assistant in 2006, per the Times.
- Weinstein was charged and arrested in 2018 with first- and third-degree rape over the Manhattan charges, per the NYT.
- 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.
- Two of Weinstein's accusers reportedly wanted out of the settlement in July, per the Wall Street Journal, which described the deal as worth $44 million at the time.
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.
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 cancelled 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 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.