Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison For Rape And Sexual Assault
The sentencing marked a major milestone in the #MeToo movement, which gained momentum after several women went public with their complaints against Weinstein.
Presiding Judge James Burke ignored the pleas of Weinstein’s defense team to give their client a minimum of five years behind bars.
Weinstein, 67, was found guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree on February 24, in a verdict hailed by the #MeToo movement.
Present in the courtroom were all of the women who had testified at trial against the once-feared mogul, who was convicted February 24 of rape and committing a criminal sexual act more than two years after explosive news articles about his alleged serial sexual abuse of women.
“He has been using and abusing people his whole life,” said prosecutor Joan Illuzzi after Weinstein was rolled into the courtroom in a wheelchair for the hearing.
Weinstein, who produced films including “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Gangs of New York,” was found not guilty of the most serious charges: two counts of predatory sexual assault for which he could have been sentenced to life in prison. He also was acquitted of first-degree rape.
“I am totally confused,” Weinstein told Burke before he was sentenced, according to Variety. “I think men are confused about all of this … this feeling of thousands of men and women who are losing due process, I’m worried about this country.”
Jurors found him guilty of committing a first-degree criminal sexual act by forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006.
He was also convicted of third-degree rape for attacking aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
Weinstein was sentenced to 20 years for the attack on Haleyi and another three years in prison, to be served consecutively, for the rape of Mann.