Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison

Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

The sentence was delivered in Manhattan criminal court by Justice James Burke on Wednesday, after a jury found Weinstein guilty of a first-degree criminal sex act and third-degree rape on February 25. 

Six women testified against him at the New York trial.

“Although this is a first conviction, it is not a first offense,” Judge Burke said. “There is evidence before me of other incidents of sexual assaults involving a number of women, all of which are legitimate considerations for sentence.”

Weinstein was facing a minimum of five years and a maximum of 29 years.

Mimi Haleyi, who testified at the trial that Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006, gave an emotional impact statement in court, speaking of the trauma, panic attacks and nightmares she has endured since the assault.

“He, with physical force, violated my trust, my body and my basic right to reject his sexual advances,” she said.

“It scarred me deeply, mentally, and emotionally, perhaps irreparably, perhaps forever.”

Speaking about testifying in court and the scrutiny she has endured, Haleyi said: “I showed up not as a perfect victim but as a human being.”

Jessica Mann, the other main accuser who testified in the trial that Weinstein had raped her in a hotel room in 2013, addressed Weinstein’s history of using non-disclosure agreements with his accusers, saying: “My rape was preventable. This was a known offender.”

“Today we can have a future vision where monsters no longer hide in our closets,” she said in her impact statement.

Prior to Weinstein’s sentencing, prosecutors sent an 11-page letter to Justice James Burke, asking the court to “impose a sentence that reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s offenses, his total lack of remorse for the harm he has caused, and the need to deter him and others from engaging in further criminal conduct.”

Just hours after Weinstein’s sentence was delivered, the district attorney in Los Angeles announced that it had already begun extradition proceedings to bring him to face other sexual assault charges in California, for attacks on two women in 2013.

The Silence Breakers, a group of 24 of Weinstein’s most prominent accusers, including Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, released a statement following his sentencing:

“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.

“The Silence Breaker community was founded on solidarity, support, and compassion. The New York trial has ended, but the Silence Breakers will persist in our crusade for cultural change, justice and to have our voices heard.”

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