Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 16 Years for Los Angeles Sex Crimes

Image Credit:variety.com

Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 16 years, effectively ensuring the former Hollywood mogul and convicted rapist will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Weinstein’s sentencing was held in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday morning, nearly two months after his Los Angeles trial concluded with a jury convicting him on three counts of rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York, after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in that jurisdiction in his 2020 criminal trial. On Thursday, the judge ordered Weinstein to serve his L.A. sentence consecutively after New York.

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,” Weinstein 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.”

Weinstein’s defense, led by 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 accused as a sexual predator,” and saying that he has “become a caricature because of the #MeToo movement.” His attorney noted that Weinstein has medical issues and is a father. “He’s a 70-year-old man in bad health,” Werksman said. “He lived a full, rich and productive life that included being a father five children… He has become to his children the disembodied voice on the telephone.”

Werksman hailed Weinstein’s work in the entertainment industry, urging the judge to recognize 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.”

After Weinstein and his attorneys spoke, the judge sentenced Weinstein to 16 years for the three charges on which the jury found him guilty. “These are not easy decisions to make, but this is my decision,” Lench said.

All three charges on which Weinstein were convicted were based on the counts relating to Jane Doe #1, a European model who testified she was raped by Weinstein at Mr. C Hotel after the L.A. Italia Film Festival in 2013.

Joe Doe #1 appeared in court, alongside her daughter, to deliver an emotional victim impact statement, crying throughout as she spoke at a podium. She urged the judge to put Weinstein behind bars for life. “There is no prison sentence long enough to erase the damage,” she said. “I hope you give him the maximum sentence allowed.”

“It is extremely difficult for me to stand here, ten years later, as the effects of this rape are still raw, and difficult to discuss. I have been carrying this weight, this trauma, this irrational belief that it was my fault for years,” she said, addressing the judge. “His selfish, disgusting actions have greatly impacted me and my life. What he did to me was horrible.”

When Weinstein spoke, Jane Doe #1 was audibly crying, and her tears were heard over his statement. Weinstein told the judge that Jane Doe #1 lied about the entire rape and maintained that he never sexually assaulted her, or even came in contact with her. “The fact is I don’t know this woman and she doesn’t know me,” Weinstein said. “This is a made up story. With all due respect, Jane Doe #1 is an actress and can turn on the tears… This isn’t true.”

Weinstein’s team has focused intently on Jane Doe #1, using her as their argument to request a new trial with a new jury, which the judge shot down on Thursday morning, ahead of the sentencing. Jane Doe #1 will likely be the focal point of their appeal.

Weinstein’s attorneys have argued that the court wrongly precluded them from introducing relevant evidence and argument, particularly centering around Jane Doe #1. Before the sentencing, 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. He said the defense was “sandbagged by a lie told on the stand,” and claimed the jury “got sucked into the lies of Jane Doe #1.”

Two jurors were seated in the gallery on Thursday, which Weinstein referenced to the judge as support for him. Weinstein’s attorneys said the jury “would never have voted to convict if they knew the truth.” Lead prosecutor, deputy D.A. Paul Thompson, jabbed back at Weinstein’s attorneys, exclaiming, “It is certainly not the defense’s job to go hunt down jurors.”

Before denying Weinstein’s motion for a new trial, the judge said that speculating on whether jurors might have changed their verdict, based on evidence that wasn’t submitted into the case was “speculative” and not “appropriate.”

Note: This article is taken from variety.com








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