A judge has sentenced Harvey Weinstein, infamous Hollywood rapist whose victims helped launch the #MeToo revolution, to 23 years in prison. The jury delivered the verdict to a wheelchair-bound Weinstein.
In response to the sentence, Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented some of the victims, told CBS News,
“This is a new day. It’s a new day for women to know that if you have courage, there will be consequences for the predators who hurt you. So for the predators who are going to wake up and fear tomorrow, ‘Are they coming for me next?’ My answer is, ‘Probably, yes.'”
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told the courtroom,
“Without these women and others who were willing to come forward, this matter would never have been able to be taken, it never would have been successful, and the defendant would never have been able to stop hurting or destroying other people’s lives…[Weinstein] got drunk on power. He could take what he wanted knowing there was very little anyone could do about it.”
Two of the victims, Mann and Haley, also spoke.
“I believe that when he attacked me that evening with physical force with no regard for anything I said…what he did…stripped me of my dignity as a woman,” Haley said. “At the time all of this happened I thought I was alone in this, I had no idea there were others, I didn’t realize the extent of Harvey Weinstein’s manipulative and calculated predatory behavior.”
Mann told the judge, “Rape is not just the moment of penetration, it is forever.”
Before his sentencing, Harvey Weinstein himself said to the court, “I wasn’t about power, I was about making movies…men are confused [and] losing due process…I’m worried about this country.”
A judge sentenced Weinstein to 20 years on the count of committing a criminal sex act. He will serve three years on the count of third-degree rape. He must also register as a sex offender. Then, he must serve five years of post-release supervision after the 23 years is up.
Harvey Weinstein is 67 years old, and it’s hard to imagine he’ll make it through a 23 year sentence. That would mean he will be leaving jail at 90 years old, and the man needs serious medical treatment. Arthritis pain, headaches, trouble walking and heart problems have plagued Weinstein for the entirety of his trial.
Weinstein’s lawyer are calling the sentencing “unfair” and “a de facto life sentence.” They said in a letter to the judge,
“His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of the jury’s verdict.”
They went on to insist that the trial didn’t properly represent who Weinstein is. The lawyers think he should get the minimum term of five years. They plan to appeal the verdict.
In the meantime, Weinstein will undergo a medical evaluation before moving from Rikers Island to a state prison.