Ex-movie mogul-turned-convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein will spend the next 23 years in prison for his conviction of third-degree rape and forcible sexual assault of two women.
Judge James Burke pronounced the sentence after Weinstein’s victims denounced him while hoping for the stiffest punishment possible, and after Weinstein addressed the court to express remorse to all the women who testified against him, CNN reports.
Those allegations, which gathered momentum with the release of a pair of exposés in October 2017, landed him in court earlier this year to face his first criminal trial. The charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, could have led to him spending the rest of his life in prison, but jurors, after hearing weeks of arguments and deliberating another five days, acquitted him of the most serious charges.
The sentencing on Wednesday put a cap on Weinstein’s unfortunate fall from the highest heights of Hollywood, after he sexually assaulted dozens of young women, intimidating them and others into silence and trying to pay his way out of it.
Quite a number of women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct including movie stars Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Salma Hayek, ranging from unwanted touching to rape, and six women testified against him at his New York trial. Weinstein faced charges stemming from the accusations of two women, Miriam Haleyi and actress Jessica Mann.
In court, Haleyi testified that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, while Jessica Mann alleged that she entered into an abusive relationship with Weinstein, whom she claims raped her in 2013. The charges against Weinstein also took into account the allegations of actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified during the trial that Weinstein raped her in 1993. Three other accusers took the stand as well, testifying that they had endured or witnessed similar abuse from Harvey Weinstein.