Image Credit: Michael Owens / AP
Harvey Weinstein was just sentenced to twenty-three years in prison for the two counts for which he was found guilty – criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree.
The disgraced producer faced between five and twenty-nine years for his convictions. Last week, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon asked Justice Burke to sentence Weinstein as close to the maximum as possible to reflect Weinstein’s predatory behavior and the that risk he poses to society. In response, Weinstein’s defense attorneys requested that he be sentenced to the minimum of five years. In a dramatic plea for his client, defense attorney Arthur Aidala claimed that anything more than five years is “basically the death penalty.” In support of his argument, Aidala cited Weinstein’s health and age, referring to him as a “broken down man.”
Before the sentencing, two of Weinstein’s victims gave emotional statements about the damage that he has inflicted upon them. Miriam Haley stated that Weinstein “violated my trust and my body and my personal right to deny sexual advances.” In what could be construed as a poor decision on the part of the defense, Weinstein addressed the court on his own behalf, claiming that he believed his relations with his victims to be entirely consensual. Weinstein went as far to say that he was “totally confused” by what had happened to him.
In this statement seemingly dismissing the entire #MeToo movement, Weinstein also stated: “We may have different truths, but I have remorse for all of you and for all the men going through this crisis.” The judge was clearly unmoved. Justice Burke sentenced Weinstein to twenty years for the felony attack on Ms. Haley and an additional three years for the rape of Jessica Mann. Justice Burke also said Weinstein must register as a sex offender.
Weinstein still faces felony charges in Los Angeles of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint. Check back for future updates on these charges.
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