Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been convicted of sexual assault and rape but cleared of the most serious predatory sexual assault charges.

The jury of seven men and five women found the producer guilty of criminal sexual acts in the first degree and rape in the third degree, a partial victory for the #MeToo movement that considered the case a watershed moment.

The 67-year-old was found not guilty however of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault charges that could have seen him jailed for life.

Once one of Hollywood's most powerful producers, Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a one-time aspiring actress, in 2013.

He will be held in custody until sentencing on 11 March.

According to New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the sentence for the sexual assault charge would be at least five years in prison and up to 25 years.

During his trial, Weinstein often appeared feeble, entering the courthouse using a walker. He sometimes leaned on his lead attorney, Donna Rotunno, for support.

"He's taken some good acting tips," actress Rose McGowan said at the start of the trial on 6 January while staging a protest near the courthouse along with actress Rosanna Arquette and other Weinstein accusers.

Weinstein made his mark with critically acclaimed films such as The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love.

More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades. He had denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.

Jessica Mann
Jessica Mann described Weinstein as a 'Jekyll and Hyde' character

During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Weinstein as a serial predator who had manipulated women with promises to open doors in Hollywood, coaxing them to hotel rooms or private apartments and then overpowering and violently attacking them.

"The man seated right there was not just a titan in Hollywood, he was a rapist," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast said during opening arguments.

Seated at the defence table, Weinstein often appeared impassive, though at times he looked intently at his attorneys when they cross-examined his accusers.

A one-time aspiring actress, Ms Mann said that soon after meeting Weinstein she entered into an "extremely degrading" relationship with him that never included intercourse until, she alleged, he raped her in 2013.

She described Weinstein as a "Jekyll and Hyde" character: He was charming in public but often showed terrifying anger when they were alone, Mann said.

At one point, she started sobbing uncontrollably on the stand, prompting the judge to end testimony early for the day.

Weinstein was charged with assaulting Ms Haleyi and Ms Mann, but prosecutors bolstered their case by calling several other accusers as witnesses.

One of these women, Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, told jurors Weinstein came into her apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and raped her.

Though the accusation was too old to be charged as a separate crime, prosecutors offered it to show Weinstein was a repeat sexual offender.

Weinstein's lead lawyer Donna Rotunno told reporters he will appeal his convictions on charges of sexual assault and rape.

Ms Rotunno said: "We absolutely will be appealing. The fight is not over.

"Harvey's unbelievably strong. He took it like a man. And he knows that we will continue to fight for him and we know that this is not over." 

She suggested intense media coverage had worked against Weinstein.

"The jurors came in knowing everything that they could know about this case. We couldn't find a juror that had never heard of Harvey Weinstein.

"I thank all of you for starting to become more fair as time went on and I think that once everybody looked at the evidence it's fairly clear that we were on the right side."

Women provided powerful evidence that was difficult to overcome - legal experts

Three other women - costume designer Dawn Dunning, model Tarale Wulff and actress Lauren Young - testified that they were enticed into meeting Weinstein for professional reasons and then groped or raped.

Testimony of "prior bad acts" is generally not allowed in criminal trials, but an exception to the law allowed prosecutors to call these women to show Weinstein had a particular intention or a signature pattern of behaviour.

Legal experts said the women provided powerful evidence that was difficult for the defence to overcome.

Throughout the case, the defence said regret drove the accusers to take consensual incidents and reframe them as crimes.

Weinstein's lawyers zeroed in on friendly messages and ongoing contact between the women and Weinstein.

During cross-examination of Ms Haleyi, for example, the defence showed her a message she sent Weinstein signed "lots of love" after her alleged attack.

Defence lawyers repeatedly suggested that Ms Mann willingly had sex with Weinstein to advance her career.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said it was irrelevant whether they had ongoing contact with Weinstein after the alleged attacks.

Ms Illuzzi rejected a defence claim that Ms Mann had a loving relationship with Weinstein, but said it would not matter if she had been "head over heels in love with him".

"He still wouldn't be allowed to rape her on March 18 of 2013," she said.

Weinstein still faces sexual assault charges in California, which were announced just hours after his New York rape trial began, and dozens of women have filed civil lawsuits against him.