Harvey Weinstein gets 16 years for rape


Harvey Weinstein, 70, was convicted by a Los Angeles court of rape and sentenced to 16 years in prison on 23 February. The disgraced Hollywood mogul had been previously convicted in a watershed sex crimes trial in New York in 2020 that sent him to prison for 23 years.

In December, jurors of the Los Angeles Superior Court found Weinstein guilty on three counts: Forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by a foreign object. All three counts were related to one victim, Jane Doe #1. She said the rape took place in her hotel room in February 2013 while she was in town to attend the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival.

This new sentencing will ensure that the former film producer who is in declining health will spend the rest of his life in prison.

According to Variety, before he was sentenced, Weinstein addressed the court, making one final plea to Judge Lisa B. Lench. “I maintain that I’m innocent,” Weinstein said.

“This is about money and coming after me,” the former Hollywood heavyweight said. “Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it… There are so many things wrong with this case. There is no evidence… This is a setup… I beg your mercy.”

“I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe #1,” Weinstein insisted. “I never knew this woman, and, the fact is, she doesn’t know me.”

Weinstein’s defense attorneys, Mark Werksman and Alan Jackson, asked the judge to sentence him to three years per charge, urging her to look to the man he was “before he became a sexual predator,” and that he has become a caricature because of the #MeToo movement. Werksman also hailed Weinstein’s work in the entertainment industry, asking the judge to consider his accomplishments.

“Mr. Weinstein did a lot of good for a lot of people in a 50-year career,” Werksman said. “He produced hundreds of films that were a joy to millions of people… He was a man that many famous movie stars would thank in their Oscar speeches… He gave generously to charities and political causes.”

Weinstein initially faced 11 charges in L.A., but four charges in relation to Jane Doe #5 were dropped in the midst of the trial. It was a split verdict, convicting him on the three counts with Jane Doe #1 but receiving an acquittal on sexual battery charges related to Jane Doe #3. A unanimous verdict could not be reached on charges involving two other accusers, aspiring actress and screenwriter Lauren Young, known as Jane Doe #2; and the First Partner of California, Jennifer Siebel Newsom (wife to Gov. Gavin Newsom) who was Jane Doe #4. The judge declared a mistrial on those three charges.

To date, Weinstein has been accused by over 100 women who have publicly come forward with allegations of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment that have spanned decades. These include A-listers, such as Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Léa Seydoux, Uma Thurman, and many others.

His monumental fall ignited the #MeToo movement in 2017. Weinstein has consistently denied all accusations of rape and assault, and his lawyers have repeatedly stated their client has unfairly been painted as a sexual predator.

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