Joe Biden told students at Rutgers University on Thursday during a speech on sexual assault that he believes Harvey Weinstein, the former studio head and longtime Democratic donor now accused of decades of sexual abuse, should face criminal charges. “It is my hope there are more consequences, that the statute hasn’t run out. This man deserves more than to lose his company,” Biden said. There are currently three police investigations into the allegations against Weinstein open in New York City, Los Angeles, and London; Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company earlier this week. The former vice-president first spoke out against Weinstein at the Anti-Violence Project Courage Awards in NYC on Wednesday, where he used Weinstein and Donald Trump as examples of a culture that continues to afford predatory men power despite knowing about their alleged behavior.
“While we have made progress together, we know that violence and the abuse of power still persist today. We’ve recently seen that in stark relief in the disgusting conduct and behavior of a very powerful figure in Hollywood. A man who had power over scores of women and their careers. He abused that power in a disgusting and immoral way,” he said. “It’s long past time for the powerful men in Hollywood to speak up, to be strong enough to say something, because silence is complicity.” Biden also praised the dozens of women who have come forward to share their stories of Weinstein’s alleged misconduct: “Putting their careers at risk to save other women from similar abuse, this disgusting behavior — at least on the part of Harvey Weinstein — has been brought to an abrupt and justifiable end.”