Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison for sex crimes
Should the disgraced Hollywood producer serve the full-term of his sentence, he will be 90 years old when he sees freedom again
Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer convicted of sexual crimes, was sentenced to 23 years on Wednesday in a New York State prison. He was also sentenced to five years probation after his term is fulfilled.
The sentence was handed down today by Justice James A. Burke, who oversaw the trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Burke had a range of five years to 29 years for which to sentence Weinstein for raping Jessica Mann and forcibly performing oral sex on Miriam Haley, his production assistant, according to The New York Times.
The case catapulted the #Metoo movement onto the national stage, and dozens of women went public with their stories of sexual misconduct by Weinstein.
Weinstein, 67, once a beloved Hollywood producer, was convicted on Feb. 25 of raping Mann in 2013 at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan. He was also convicted of a 2006 incident where he forcibly performed oral sex on Haley in his Lower Manhattan apartment, The New York Times reported. The jury acquitted him of two more serious charges of predatory sexual assault which would have potentially put him away for life.
Before he was sentenced, two of Weinstein’s victims read emotional statements about the devastating impact of his actions on their lives.
“He violated my trust and my body and my personal right to deny sexual advances,” Haley said.
Weinstein also spoke, telling Burke that he believed his encounters with Mann and Haley were consensual, according to The New York Times.
“We may have different truths, but I have remorse for all of you and for all the men going through this crisis,” Weinstein said to his accusers. “I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart. I’m really trying to be a better person.”
Six women who testified against Weinstein during his trial attended his sentencing, walking into the courtroom together and sitting in the front row, behind the prosecutor’s table. They sat next to Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., reported The Times.
Joan Illuzzi, the lead prosecutor on the case, said the sheer number of sexual assaults women have accused Weinstein of “show a lifetime of abuse toward others” and a “total lack of remorse for the harm he has caused.”
Even though he was convicted, defense lawyers argued that the allegations weren’t proven. They also tried to sway the judge by Weinstein’s philanthropy and poor health.
“He lost everything,” his lawyers wrote in a letter to the judge, specifically mentioning his divorce and loss of his company. “His fall from grace has been historic.”
Justice Burke showed little concern. He sentenced Weinstein to 20 years for his felony attack on Haley and three years for raping Mann.
Last month, on the way to Rikers Island following his conviction, Weinstein complained of chest pains and heart palpitations and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where doctors found a blockage. Last week, they put a stint in to remove the blockage, Weinstein’s publicist, Juda Engelmayer said, and doctors cleared him to be moved.
Weinstein was transported to Rikers’ infirmary unit on Thursday.
As of now, it is unclear which New York state prison Weinstein will serve his time.
According to CNN, Weinstein will still face charges in Los Angeles, California for allegedly raping one woman and sexually assaulting another over a two-day period in 2013. The two women’s accusations are independent of each other and allegedly happened in separate instances.