Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison After Dozens of Sexual Assualt Allegations

Disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday on one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault, adding to an existing 23-year prison sentence, after allegations of sexual assault dating back decades brought down one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood—and sparked a wave of accusations against other powerful people.[0]

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench denied the defense request for a new trial, and ultimately sentenced Weinstein to 16 years in prison, less than the 24 years prosecutors requested but well over the three years Weinstein's attorney argued for.[1]

Weinstein had previously been convicted on three counts of rape and sexual assault in connection to an anonymous survivor known as Jane Doe #1. The jury found him not guilty of assaulting another person, but could not come to a decision concerning two other people, one of whom was Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.[2]

Weinstein had pleaded with the judge, “Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it. There are so many things wrong with this case.”[2]

The former movie mogul has been accused by more than 100 women of sexual misconduct, and his monumental fall ignited the #MeToo movement in 2017. Weinstein has consistently denied any allegations of rape or assault and has been adamant about his innocence. His legal team has also asserted that their client has been falsely portrayed as the face of the #MeToo movement.[3]

Jane Doe #1, who testified that Weinstein raped her in her hotel room after the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival in 2013, was the only witness called in Weinstein’s two-month L.A. trial, and her tearful testimony and cross-examination ultimately led to the sole guilty verdict in the California trial.

Before the sentencing, Weinstein's attorney Alan Jackson delivered a lengthy argument as to why Weinstein should be granted a new trial, alleging that the judge “allowed perjury on the stand” from Jane Doe #1.[4] Jane Doe #1 eventually filed a civil lawsuit against Weinstein for the rape, which the defense argued was strategically filed after the trial to shield her financial motive.[5]

At the hearing, Jane Doe #1 tearfully spoke to the judge and said that Weinstein had “broken me into a million pieces,” and that “there is no prison sentence long enough to erase the damage.[4]

0. “Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To Another 16 Years In Prison: His Hollywood Sexual Abuse Crimes, Explained” Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/conormurray/2023/02/23/harvey-weinstein-sentenced-to-another-16-years-in-prison-his-hollywood-sexual-abuse-crimes-explained

1. “Harvey Weinstein Is Going to Prison for Another 16 Years” VICE, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.vice.com/en/article/v7v5yb/harvey-weinstein-sentencing

2. “Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 16 additional years in prison” The A.V. Club, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.avclub.com/harvey-weinstein-sentenced-to-16-more-years-in-prison-1850150015

3. “Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 16 years in second rape trial” Courthouse News Service, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.courthousenews.com/harvey-weinstein-sentenced-to-16-years-in-second-rape-trial

4. “Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 16 Years After Rape Conviction, Putting Former Movie Mogul Behind Bars for Life” Variety, 23 Feb. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/film/news/harvey-weinstein-sentenced-los-angeles-prison-term-1235531069

5. “Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 16 Years Behind Bars In L.A. Rape Case; Producer Tells Court He Is “Innocent”” Deadline, 23 Feb. 2023, https://deadline.com/2023/02/harvey-weinstein-rape-trial-sentencing-1235268805

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