Harvey Weinstein gets 23 years in prison for sexual assault

Harvey Weinstein. (Photo: Twitter/@HarveyWeinstein)

Los Angeles: Hollywood’s disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein will spend 23 years in a New York State prison. He was sentenced by Supreme Court judge James Burke on Wednesday morning, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

Weinstein was convicted on February 24 for committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape.

The judgement brings an end to Weinstein’s New York trial, which began on January 6. His team has said they will appeal the jury’s decision to convict him on two of the five charges he faced.

Before announcing the sentence, Judge Burke told Weinstein that he will be formally registered as a sex offender.

Weinstein wore a blank face as he was taken out of the courtroom. His accusers cried together in the front row, reports cnn.com.

As per hollywoodreporter.com, Weinstein got 20 years in prison plus five years of supervised release on the first-degree count of a criminal sexual act.

On the other convicted charge, third-degree rape, he was given three years in prison. The judge decided to make the sentences consecutive, rather than concurrent.

Reacting to the judgement, Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno said: “Of course it’s too harsh. It’s ridiculous,” adding that the sentencing is “obscene”.

Before the judgement was announced, Rotunno had told the judge that Weinstein should get a shorter sentence because he has a “long list of illnesses”.

“Mr Weinstein has a multitude of medical issues, there are lists of things that are physically wrong with him and are serious. Mr Weinstein has a history of heart disease in his family. This is a situation that the loss of freedom … will affect his ability to get the type of medical care he will need for the list of issues he is dealing with,” said Rotunno, reading out a letter highlighting his medical issues.

Weinstein had spent 10 days in the hospital, where he underwent a heart procedure, after experiencing high blood pressure and heart palpitations following his February 24 conviction.

Before his sentencing, Weinstein, who opted not to testify during his New York sexual assault trial, addressed the judge. Speaking in a low voice, of the women who have accused him of misconduct, he said: “I have great remorse for all of you. I have great remorse for all women.”

“I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart,” he added.

In response to the sentencing, Tina Tchen, president and CEO of the Time’s Up Foundation, said: “First and foremost, we are grateful for the courage and strength of Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young, who bravely testified in court, and we remain in solidarity with the more than 100 survivors who suffered abuse, harassment, and rape at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. The trauma of sexual assault and harassment is lifelong and we can only hope that today’s sentence brings all of the survivors of Harvey Weinstein some measure of peace.”

In addition to this, the Silence Breakers, a group of 24 Weinstein accusers that includes Ashley Judd, Lauren Sivan, Rosanna Arquette and Rose McGowan, released a joint statement saying: “Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist. He is going to jail – but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused.”