Hollywood disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.
Weinstein will spend 23 years in a New York State prison. He was sentenced by Supreme Court judge James Burke, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
The judgement brings an end to Weinstein’s New York trial, which began on January 6. His team has said they will appeal the jury’s decision to convict him on two of the five charges he faced.
A jury convicted Weinstein last month of third-degree rape of Jessica Man, a former aspiring actress, and a count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley a former “Project Runway” production assistant.
Weinstein was sentenced to 20 years for a criminal sexual act in the first degree and three years for rape in the third degree to be served consecutively for assaulting the two women in New York. He was also sentenced to 10 years of post-release supervision for both charges.
According to the report, Weinstein got 20 years in prison plus five years of supervised release on the first-degree count of a criminal sexual act.
In response to the judgement, Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno said, “Of course it’s too harsh. It’s ridiculous,” adding that the sentencing is “obscene”.
Before the judgement was announced, Rotunno had told the judge that Weinstein should get a shorter sentence because he has a “long list of illnesses”.
The 67-year-old, who is in poor health and will not be eligible for parole for 20 years, could potentially spend the rest of his life in prison after his sentence was handed down in Manhattan criminal court on Wednesday.
Arriving in a wheelchair, Weinstein spoke ahead of his sentencing and addressed his role in the #MeToo movement, saying he believed “thousands of men are losing due process” and he was worried about the country.
Weinstein had spent 10 days in the hospital, where he underwent a heart procedure, after experiencing high blood pressure and heart palpitations following his February 24 conviction.
Most of his alleged victims were sitting in the front row of the court cried as the judge read the verdict. Weinstein was led out of court immediately after in his wheelchair.
Ahead of the sentencing, Haley said that Weinstein’s assault scarred her deeply, mentally and emotionally, and “crushed a part of her spirit.”
She further said that if he were not convicted, she believed he would victimize women “again and again and again.”
Weinstein’s defence attorneys, for their part, requested that he be sentenced to five years, Damon Cheronis, one of the ex-producer’s lawyers, argued that his client deserved leniency because of the “collateral consequences” he has faced due to the wave of allegations against him and the New York trial.
Weinstein returned to Bellevue on Wednesday after his sentencing, according to his publicist Juda Engelmayer. Staff at Rikers jail decided to take him back to the hospital as a precaution after Weinstein said he was having chest pains.
(With inputs from agency)