NEW YORK (1) - Former film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in jail on Wednesday for his sexual assault and rape convictions final month after delivering a rambling assertion to the courtroom expressing sympathy for men accused in the #MeToo motion whereas saying he's attempting to be “a greater individual.”
The sentence was handed down in Manhattan legal courtroom by Justice James Burke. A jury on Feb. 24 discovered Weinstein - as soon as one among Hollywood’s strongest figures - responsible of sexually assaulting former manufacturing assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann.
“I really feel regret for the entire men who're going by way of this struggle,” Weinstein, 67, instructed the courtroom earlier than he was sentenced, sounding unrepentant over the crimes for which he was convicted.
Greater than 100 girls, together with well-known actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching again a long time, fueling the #MeToo motion towards sexual abuse and harassment.
Weinstein, who addressed the courtroom whereas sitting in a wheelchair, stated he was frightened about “hundreds of men” being denied due course of in the #MeToo era. In a rambling assertion, he stated he was “confused” and that he believed he had nice occasions with “these individuals,” referring to the ladies.
He stated that he had labored too laborious and put an excessive amount of strain on himself.
“I actually really feel regret about this example. I really feel it deeply in my coronary heart. ... I’m actually attempting to be a greater individual.”
Weinstein had confronted the opportunity of a most sentence of 29 years in jail.
Manhattan District Lawyer Cyrus Vance instructed reporters afterward that the choose “despatched a message right this moment that this kind conduct is one thing that any potential offender goes to have to take into account. The choose took it critically, which is strictly how we predict he ought to have. And we’re grateful.”
In an emotional assertion in courtroom earlier than the sentencing, Haleyi spoke of the trauma she had endured for the reason that assault, saying, “It scarred me deeply, mentally and emotionally, maybe irreparably, maybe eternally.” She stated Weinstein has appeared “utterly disconnected from the gravity of the crime he has dedicated towards me.”
Mann additionally addressed the courtroom.
“I would like to remind you I instructed Harvey, ‘no,’” she stated.
“I'm compelled to carry that have till I die,” Mann added.
Prosecutors portrayed Weinstein as a serial predator who had manipulated girls with guarantees of profession development in Hollywood, coaxing them to resort rooms or personal flats after which overpowering and violently attacking them.
“The younger struggling dreamers weren't even individuals to him. He might take what he needed understanding there was little or no anybody might do about it,” Assistant District Lawyer Joan Illuzzi stated after the sentencing.
‘THE DAMAGE HE HAS CAUSED’
Weinstein has denied the allegations and stated that any intercourse was consensual.
“Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will at all times be that he’s a convicted rapist. He's going to jail - however no quantity of jail time will restore the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the harm he has brought on,” the group Silence Breakers, which speaks out towards sexual assault and harassment and consists of Weinstein accusers, stated in an announcement.
The jury of seven men and 5 girls acquitted Weinstein on essentially the most critical expenses, a single rely of first-degree rape in addition to two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a possible life sentence. These expenses relied on testimony by actress Annabella Sciorra, who stated Weinstein raped her in the early 1990s.
Weinstein’s attorneys on Monday urged Burke to impose the minimal attainable sentence of 5 years, asking him to take into account Weinstein’s charitable actions whereas saying an extended sentence would seemingly imply Weinstein would die in jail.
“His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles are merely outstanding and shouldn't be disregarded in complete due to the jury’s verdict,” they stated.
Weinstein has been awaiting sentencing in New York’s Rikers Island jail, the place he was moved final Thursday after a 10-day hospital keep at Bellevue Hospital the place he underwent a process to clear a coronary heart blockage.
Weinstein gained an Academy Award for producing “Shakespeare in Love” and was accountable for different acclaimed movies together with “Pulp Fiction,” “The English Affected person” and “Gangs of New York.”
Haleyi testified on the trial that Weinstein invited her to his dwelling in 2006 after she had labored on one among his tv productions, backed her right into a bed room, held her down on the mattress and compelled himself on her orally.
Mann instructed jurors that Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan resort room in March 2013, a few month into what she described as an “extraordinarily degrading” relationship with him that continued for a number of years after the assault. Mann referred to as Weinstein a “Jekyll and Hyde” character, charming in public however inclined to rage after they have been alone.
Reporting by Brendan Pierson; Extra reporting by Jill Sergeant and Karen Freifeld; Enhancing by Noeleen Walder and Will Dunham