Harvey Weinstein gets 16 more years in prison after Calif. rape trial

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By Amit


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Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday after he was found guilty of rape, forced oral copulation and sexual misconduct in Los Angeles last December. Those years will be added on to a 23-year sentence the once-powerful film producer is already serving in New York state prison, all but ensuring Weinstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The Los Angeles case stems from one victim. Referred to in court as Jane Doe 1, the Italian actress accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her at a Beverly Hills hotel after a film festival in 2013. Three other women also accused the now 70-year-old Weinstein of misconduct during the Los Angeles trial. Weinstein was acquitted on one of those charges, and the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the additional counts involving two other women.

Jane Doe 1 gave a statement in court Thursday about the trauma she suffered from Weinstein’s attack, telling Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench that no prison sentence would be “long enough to undo the damage.”

“Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God. I was excited about my future.” she said. “Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me.”

Five years after the #MeToo movement began, survivors still face pushback when testifying in public. An expert on gender-based violence explains why. (Video: Hadley Green/The Washington Post, Photo: Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

The AP reported that Weinstein also addressed the judge Thursday. “I maintain that I’m innocent,” he said, according to the news service. “I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1.”

Weinstein’s reckoning began in 2017, after watershed investigations into his decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct were published by the New York Times and New Yorker. Those reports, which helped ignite the MeToo movement, led to criminal investigations in several major cities. Weinstein, who has maintained his innocence since the allegations were made public, was eventually charged in New York and Los Angeles on several counts of rape and sexual abuse. He is currently appealing his 2020 conviction in New York.

Ahead of Thursday’s sentencing, Lench denied a request by Weinstein’s legal team for a new trial and jury. According to Variety, Weinstein’s team claimed in a motion filed last month that the jury was improperly instructed during the two-month trial.

The new sentence fell short of what prosecutors had hope for. They had asked for Weinstein, 70, to be given the maximum sentence of 24 years, which they recommended he serve consecutively to his New York prison term.

In 2021, a bankruptcy court in Delaware approved a $17 million settlement agreement between nearly 40 women who had accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and the Weinstein Company, the once-formidable independent film studio run by Weinstein and his brother, Bob.

This month, Jane Doe 1 filed a civil suit against Weinstein in Los Angeles. She accuses Weinstein of sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to a statement from her attorney, Dave Ring, the suit “seeks to recover compensation from him for the horrific rape she endured and all of the issues she has suffered through for the past 10 years because of that rape.”

This story has been updated.

correction

A previous version of this story misstated the day that Jane Doe 1 provided her statement to the judge.



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