NEW YORK (Reuters) – Previous motion picture producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced on Wednesday to 23 years in jail for sexual assault and rape just after supplying a rambling court statement sympathizing with guys accused of sexual misconduct throughout the #MeToo era.
The sentence was handed down in Manhattan prison court by Justice James Burke, with Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno afterward denouncing the jail time period as “obscene” and “cowardly” and expressing the decide and jury “caved” less than the tension of the #MeToo motion in opposition to sexual abuse and harassment.
Weinstein was taken to New York’s Rikers Island jail adhering to the sentencing. Hrs afterwards, he was transported to Bellevue Medical center in Manhattan for “ongoing heart problems and chest pains,” Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Weinstein, stated in an email. Weinstein underwent surgical treatment at Bellevue to distinct a heart blockage very last week.
Engelmayer stated “we are hopeful he will be held right away for observation offered his current heart course of action significantly less than a week back and his ongoing medical problems.”
A jury on Feb. 24 located Weinstein – the moment one of Hollywood’s most influential guys – guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann. The duration of the sentence usually means Weinstein might commit the rest of his lifestyle incarcerated, considering he is 67 and has health and fitness problems. Defense lawyers experienced advised the minimal possible five years in jail.
Weinstein, Haleyi and Mann all resolved the court throughout the sentencing listening to. The two women spoke of the trauma they have endured given that Weinstein attacked them, with Haleyi expressing, “It scarred me deeply, mentally and emotionally, maybe irreparably, maybe endlessly.”
Mann included, “I am forced to have that knowledge until eventually I die.”
Addressing the court from a wheelchair behind the protection desk, Weinstein stated, “I’m thoroughly baffled.”
Prosecutors portrayed Weinstein as a serial predator who experienced manipulated women with promises of profession development in Hollywood, coaxing them to resort rooms or non-public residences and then overpowering and violently attacking them.
“The younger having difficulties dreamers had been not even people today to him. He could get what he needed knowing there was really small any individual could do about it,” Manhattan Assistant District Legal professional Joan Illuzzi informed the court.
Weinstein stated he was worried about the “thousands of guys who are getting rid of due process” throughout the #MeToo motion just as people today in the earlier experienced their professions wrecked when they had been accused of being communists.
“I sense remorse for all of the guys who are likely by means of this battle,” Weinstein stated, sounding unrepentant.
Far more than one hundred women, which includes famous actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching back many years, fueling the #MeToo motion. Weinstein has denied the allegations and stated that any intercourse was consensual.
Haleyi stated Weinstein has appeared “completely disconnected from the gravity of the criminal offense he has dedicated in opposition to me.”
Haleyi, dressed in black, commenced to cry as she talked about coming forward to testify. For the duration of the trial, she testified that Weinstein invited her to his property, backed her into a bedroom and forced oral intercourse on her in 2006.
“I confirmed up not as a perfect target, but as a human being,” she stated.
Weinstein experienced confronted a most of 29 years in jail.
“Although this is a to start with conviction, it is not a to start with offense,” the decide informed the court.
Weinstein stated he experienced labored way too really hard and put way too significantly tension on himself. “I’m definitely attempting to be a greater human being,” he stated.
Manhattan District Legal professional Cyrus Vance informed reporters the decide experienced “sent a message” to opportunity offenders.
Weinstein faces independent sexual assault expenses in Los Angeles, where the area district legal professional stated on Thursday he experienced started off extradition proceedings.
Engelmayer, stated the protection expects to file an enchantment in July.
Defense attorney Rotunno stated there are murderers who will go free of charge sooner than Weinstein will. “I am conquer with anger at that selection,” Rotunno stated of the 23-calendar year sentence.
Mann testified throughout the trial that Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan resort place in 2013. Mann termed Weinstein a “Jekyll and Hyde” character, charming in public but prone to rage when they had been by itself.
“I want to remind you I informed Harvey, ‘no,’” she informed the court. Her voice was robust but the paper she read from shook in her palms.
“He’s baffled at eventually being held accountable,” Mann stated of Weinstein.
“Justice has been served right now, due in no compact element to the bravery of the women who testified in opposition to Harvey Weinstein,” U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet wrote on Twitter. “To mark genuine change, others who dedicate such appalling crimes will have to be held accountable, no matter where & what placement they occupy.”
Burke sentenced Weinstein to 20 years for the assault on Haleyi and a few years for the rape of Mann. The jury acquitted Weinstein on the most serious expenses, a one depend of to start with-diploma rape as properly as two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a opportunity lifestyle sentence.
Weinstein won an Academy Award for manufacturing “Shakespeare in Love” and was liable for other acclaimed films which includes “Pulp Fiction,” “The English Patient” and “Gangs of New York.”
Reporting by Brendan Pierson and Karen Freifeld in New York Additional reporting by Jill Sergeant in Los Angeles and Emma Farge in Geneva Editing by Noeleen Walder, Will Dunham, Cynthia Osterman and Michael Perry