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.
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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.
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. Weinstein’s attorneys have stated that Weinstein had an unfair trial — and therefore, conviction — because the court, his lawyers claim, precluded the defense from admitting relevant evidence and argument, particularly centering around Jane Doe #1.
Thursday’s sentencing all but signals that Weinstein, who will turn 71 years old next month, will spend the remainder of his life in prison, marking a stunning downfall for the the Oscar winner who reigned over Hollywood and was once one of the most powerful individuals in the entertainment industry.
His team, however, is still fighting for Weinstein’s life. In Los Angeles, his lawyers, Mark Werksman and Alan Jackson, filed a motion in January to request a new trial with a new jury, which the judge shot down on Thursday, ahead of the sentencing. In New York, the Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in the state, agreed to hear Weinstein’s appeal to possibly overturn his 2020 sex crimes conviction.
In his L.A. trial, which ran from October through December 2022, prosecutors argued that Weinstein was a predator who used his power to lure and attack women in hotel rooms under the guise of a business meeting or audition, while his defense argued that the women willingly engaged in “transactional sex” because Weinstein was so influential in the entertainment industry.
Weinstein initially faced 11 charges in L.A., but four charges, all relating to Jane Doe #5, were dismissed in the midst of the trial, so the jury ultimately deliberated on seven charges before finding him guilty on three of them. The 12 jurors reached a complex verdict where they could not come to unanimous decision on all seven charges, convicting him on the three counts relating to Jane Doe #1 and acquitting him of a felony sexual battery count of a massage therapist, identified as Jane Doe #3. But they were split on the charges involving two other accusers, aspiring actor and screenwriter Lauren Young, known as Jane Doe #2 in the case, and the First Partner of California, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who was Jane Doe #4. In their deliberations, the jurors voted in favor of a conviction on all those outstanding counts. The judge declared a mistrial on those three charges, but the court has not yet indicated whether they will be retried.
Weinstein has been accused by more than 100 women who have publicly come forward with allegations of sexual assault, abuse and harassment that have spanned decades. His monumental fall was the fuse the ignited #MeToo in 2017, and the story of his survivors coming forward even inspired a major studio film, “She Said,” which was released in theaters last year. Weinstein has consistently maintained his innocence, denying any accusations of rape or assault, and his legal team has repeatedly stated that their client has unfairly been painted as the poster boy of the #MeToo movement.
More to come…
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