Harvey Weinstein arrived in cuffs for his sentencing in a Manhattan court room on Wednesday morning. This development follows a guilty jury verdict on two charges, including third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sex act against, against the former powerhouse producer. His attorney (Donna Rotunno) insists that Weinstein, who pleaded not guilty to any and all nonconsensual sexual acts, will appeal his conviction, but as of this moment, a judge has handed him 23 years behind bars.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that New York State Supreme Court Judge James Burke announced the sentence following emotional testimony from the two victims whose charges resulted in the guilty counts (two out of five) in this case. Via ABC News, actress Jessica Mann’s statement to the court included the following:
“The day my screams were heard from the witness room was the day my voice came back to its full power. Rape is not just one moment of penetration. It is forever.”
Prior to the sentencing, Weinstein faced anywhere between five and twenty-nine years with no hope to evade prison. He was understood to be under strict supervision due to the fear of an Epstein incident, and he also faces a future legal saga in Los Angeles. This year, new sex crime charges (including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by use of force) against Weinstein surfaced in Los Angeles from two women who accused him of sexually assaulting them in hotels. Given that the New York trial produced a landmark victory for the #MeToo movement, it’s unlikely that we won’t see more developments on the matter. Those would include Ben Affleck surfacing (in newly unsealed documents) as a name on Weinstein’s infamous “red flag” list of people who he feared would unveil his pattern of predatory behavior.