Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison
Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison Wednesday in a New York courtroom.
The 67-year-old producer arrived at his sentencing hearing in a wheelchair and handcuffs. Weinstein faced between five and 29 years for last month’s convictions on a first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. The charges were based on testimony in a New York courtroom by Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, who both spoke at the sentencing. Judge James Burke sentenced him to serve 20 years on the first count and three years on the second count. He must also serve five years of post-release supervision and register as a sex offender.
Haley, Mann and the four other women who testified against Weinstein at his trial; actress Annabella Sciorra and three “prior bad acts” witnesses, arrived at court with prosecutors. Actress Rosie Perez, who testified in support of Sciorra’s claims, walked in with them.
“If Harvey Weinstein had not been convicted by this jury, it would have happened again and again and again,” Haley said Wednesday in court. “I’m relieved he will now know he’s not above the law. I’m relieved there are women out there who are safer because he’s not out there.”
Even after the trial, Weinstein’s defense continued to fight for a shorter sentence, arguing for his innocence. Weinstein was not convicted of more serious charges of predatory sexual assault, and the jury did not find that he used force against Mann, defense attorney stressed. His attorney fought for a shorter sentence by stating his age and medical history including heart palpitations, high blood pressure, his reason for using a walker and wheelchair was due to an unsuccessful back surgery following a car crash. His lawyer said that even the shortest sentence “a de facto life sentence” because of Weinstein’s age.
“Mr. 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,” Weinstein’s lawyers wrote in a letter to the judge.
A group of 24 Weinstein accusers said in their statement: “Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist. He is going to jail – but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused.”