Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years for sexual assault and rape

National News

ABC NEWS—Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years on sex crime convictions in New York on Wednesday.

That sentence includes 20 years for criminal sexual assault in the first degree, which stems from an accusation from former “Project Runway” production assistant Mimi Haley, and three years for rape in the third degree, which stems from an accusation from Jessica Mann, who is now being named by ABC News as she told the district attorney’s office after a verdict was reached she does not object to being named publicly.

The sentences are set to run consecutively.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement following the sentencing, “We thank the court for imposing a sentence that puts sexual predators and abusive partners in all segments of society on notice. We thank the survivors for their remarkable statements today and indescribable courage over the last two years. Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent. But they refused to be silent, and they were heard. Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars, and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world.”

Weinstein addressed his accusers in court before the judge’s decision.

“First of all, to all the women who testified, you may have given the truths … I have a great deal of remorse for all of you,” he said as he turned in his wheelchair to look at them.

“I’m not going to say these aren’t great people,” he said. “I had wonderful times with these people. I’m just genuinely confused. Men are confused about this issue. I can’t stop looking at Jessica and Mimi and hoping something maybe from our old relationship could emerge.”

“There’s so many people, thousands of people, who would say great things about me. We are going through this crisis right now in this country,” Weinstein said, referring to the #MeToo movement. “The movement basically started with me … now there are thousands of men who are being accused.”

Weinstein was “despondent and dejected” as he prepared for sentencing after being convicted earlier this month of sexually assaulting the two women, according to his spokesman Juda Engelmayer.

Engelmayer said Tuesday that numerous friends of Weinstein offered to write letters to the judge attesting to his character, but that every single person insisted on writing an anonymous letter to protect their own reputations.

“It shows you that even people who want to support you publicly would be vilified for doing so,” Engelmayer said.

Engelmayer declined to comment on a series of previously unpublished internal correspondences released on Monday between Weinstein and his colleagues and defense and public relations teams in the days following bombshell revelations about Weinstein’s past that first surfaced in The New York Times and The New Yorker in the fall of 2017.

‘I’m suicidal’

The documents were unsealed this week at the request of numerous media outlets, including the New York Daily News and The New York Times.

“I have lost my family,” Weinstein wrote in one draft statement dated Dec. 21, 2017, according to the New York Daily News. “I have daughters that will not talk to me. I have lost my wife. I have lost the respect of my ex-wife and generally almost all of my friends. I have no company. I’m alone. And I will be honest with you: I’m suicidal.”

In another internal email from November 2017 that was released Monday, Weinstein’s brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein, excoriated the Hollywood mogul.

“Just read u been abusing women, when u were in your twenties,” Bob Weinstein wrote to Harvey, according to the New York Daily News. “Numbers are up to 82. U are world class, in that area. U deserve a lifetime achievement award for the sheer savagery and immorality and inhumanness, for the acts u have perpetrated.

“Now show some strength and don’t write back. If u do, it’s just your denial and disease having the power of the last word. If u actually say u are trying to get better, It’s just another lie amongst the millions. (Expletive) u Harvey Weinstein. I pray there is a real hell. That’s where u belong. I suppose being you, is its own hell, if u could feel it, but no chance. OJ didn’t kill Nicole Simpson and u had consensual sex with all those poor victimized women.”

‘A serious offense’

Earlier this month, Weinstein was convicted of two of five charges against him: criminal sexual assault for an attack in 2006 on former “Project Runway” production assistant Haley, and third-degree rape for a 2013 attack on aspiring actress Mann. Both women are expected to present victim-impact statements to the judge on Wednesday, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Weinstein, who declined at trial to take the stand in his own defense, was permitted to make a statement to the judge before he was sentenced.

Weinstein was facing a minimum of probation and a maximum of four years in prison on the rape conviction, and between five and 25 years on the criminal sexual assault conviction.

In a sentencing recommendation letter to the judge in the case, Manhattan prosecutors detailed 36 “prior bad acts” they said justified an extended prison sentence for Weinstein.

Prosecutors did not recommend a specific sentence in the letter, but contended that it was “totally appropriate” to show through the court’s sentence “that sexual assault, even if perpetrated upon an acquaintance or in a professional setting, is a serious offense worthy of a lengthy prison sentence.”

Defense attorneys were seeking a minimum sentence of five years.

“As an individual with no criminal history having spent no time previously incarcerated, his health concerns, his age, and as famous as he is, a custodial sentence will no doubt prove much more difficult for Mr. Weinstein than most other inmates, which further counsels in favor of a sentence of five years’ imprisonment,” defense attorneys Damon Chernois and Donna Rotunno said in their own letter to the judge.

“With respect to deterrence, counsel will again note that Mr. Weinstein is a first-time offender.”

Engelmayer said Weinstein plans to appeal his New York convictions.

What’s next for Weinstein?

After sentencing, Weinstein will be sent to Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, New York, a maximum-security prison and inmate reception center where New York City inmates get a medical evaluation before being assigned to a state prison facility, according to state corrections officials.

While state corrections officials are responsible for determining where Weinstein will serve out his sentence, those officials can take recommendations from the judge about an inmate with medical problems like Weinstein.

Three of New York state’s 52 correctional facilities — in Fishkill, Bedford Hills and Coxsackie, New York — have residential medical units.

Weinstein is also preparing to defend himself against four felony sexual assault charges filed earlier this year by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. In that case, Weinstein is charged with attacking two women in separate incidents in February 2013 within a day of each other.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the impending trial in Los Angeles.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar