Harvey Weinstein spent 40 years harassing and abusing the women he worked with. Now, he'll spend the next 23 in prison. Judge James Burke of the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan gave the former producer nearly the maximum sentence. Going into the sentencing hearing this morning, Weinstein faced five and 24 years after being convicted of two felonies: third degree rape and a criminal sex act in the first degree.
The 67-year-old former producer was found guilty in February of a first degree criminal sex crime for forcing oral sex on Miriam Haleyi, a production assistant, at his apartment in 2006, per the New York Times. The third degree rape charge stems from 2013, when he raped Jessica Mann, an aspiring actress, in a New York City hotel room. He was let off for the rape of Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who says Weinstein raped and forcibly performed oral sex in her in the mid-1990s.
According to NBC, before the sentence was announced, Weinstein gave a rambling woe-is-me speech, downplaying his power in Hollywood, mourning the state of due process and the implications of the #MeToo movement for men. He repeated his assertions of being "confused" and the belief that all his actions had been consensual.
Prosecutors argued for a lengthy sentence, arguing that Weinstein "would never have been stopped from hurting more lives." The producer's attorneys asked for five years, saying Weinstein has already paid for his actions — abusing multiple women — because, as Damon Cheronis wrote in a letter to Burke: "Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media."
Haleyi and Mann also spoke. Haleyi to the judge, explaining that Weinstein's assault "crushed her spirit" and scarred her mentally. She said, via the Times: "He violated my trust and my body and my personal right to deny sexual advance." Mann described her experience with Weinstein "a recurring nightmare."
Weinstein still faces a sex crimes case in Los Angeles, where he's charged with both rape and sexual assault on two consecutive days in 2013. Jury selection for the case is underway. According to AP, Weinstein could get up to 28 additional years for the charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery.
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