Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault in a New York courthouse on Wednesday morning (March 11). The former Hollywood mogul was convicted last month for raping a woman in New York City back in 2013, as well as forcibly performing oral sex on another female victim in 2006. He faced up to 29 years in prison for both charges.
According to Associated Press, both victims spoke in court on Wednesday (March 11) before Judge James Burke announced the sentence. Both women formerly testified against Weinstein in what kicked off the #MeToo movement. One victim reportedly recalled leaving a trial date in tears and being overheard screaming by witnesses in a nearby room.
“The day my screams were heard from the witness room was the day my voice came back to its full power,” she said. “Rape is not just one moment of penetration. It is forever.”
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct from over 90 other women. While he has now been convicted on two counts, including criminal sex act and rape in the third degree, he currently faces other charges in California, which include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery. These ongoing sexual assault cases are currently under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Beverly Hills Police Department.
Weinstein’s sentence arrives a week before his 68th birthday. His lawyers previously argued that a lengthy prison term would result in him spending the rest of his life in prison, due to his old age and failing health.
Throughout the cases, the disgraced film producer continued to maintain his innocence and argued that he believed the sexual encounters to be consensual.
“I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I’m innocent,” he reportedly told his lawyer Arthur Aidala following the sentencing. “How could this happen in America?”
Currently, no further details have been disclosed about the other charges Weinstein faces in California.
See reactions on Twitter to his sentence below.
23 years in prison for Weinstein and he still has more trials to come. https://t.co/ZwikKpKq1K— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) March 11, 2020
Wow. 23 years for Weinstein.— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) March 11, 2020
Judge said "This is your first conviction, but not your first offense."
23 years for Harvey Weinstein. @mega2e and I just witnessed it for ourselves. Weinstein was cuffed to his wheelchair then rolled away. The women who testified sobbed afterwards. Irwin Reiter, his accountant of 30 yrs who secretly helped us break the story, sat just behind.— jodikantor (@jodikantor) March 11, 2020
Takeaways from Harvey’s self-serving statement to court:— Molly Crane-Newman (@molcranenewman) March 11, 2020
He was “totally confused” by his relationship with the women.
He feels “remorse” for all of the men and women wrapped up in the movement.
His daughters haven’t spoken to him since The New Yorker article in 2017.