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Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 16 more years in prison in Los Angeles rape case

Sentence comes two months after Weinstein was convicted of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault

Clémence Michallon
Thursday 23 February 2023 20:53 GMT
Breaking down the Harvey Weinstein trial
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Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 16 years in prison in his Los Angeles case.

The sentence was announced during a hearing on Thursday (23 February), two months after he was convicted in LA of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Weinstein’s defence team had made a motion for him to be granted a new trial, but Superior Court Judge Lisa B Lench rejected it and moved to sentence the former movie producer.

He had faced up to 18 years in prison.

Weinstein was convicted in Los Angeles in December of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault against an Italian model and actor during a 2013 film festival in the run-up to that year’s Academy Awards.

The jury acquitted him of the sexual battery of a massage therapist and failed to reach verdicts on counts involving two other women.

The Los Angeles trial was the second time Weinstein faced criminal charges for alleged sex crimes. His first criminal trial took place in New York City in early 2020.

Weinstein’s New York trial ended with his conviction on charges of third-degree rape and a criminal sex act. He was sentenced to 23 years in that case, and was serving that sentence when he was extradited to California to face more charges.

During Thursday’s hearing, Weinstein told Judge Lench: “I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1,” in reference to the woman whose testimony led to his conviction, according to The Associated Press.

The woman sobbed as he spoke.

Before Weinstein addressed the judge, the woman made a statement to the court, describing the toll Weinstein’s actions took on her.

“Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God,” she saud. “I was excited about my future. Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me. There is no prison sentence long enough to undo the damage.”

Legal uncertainties will remain on both coasts for Weinstein.

New York’s highest court has agreed to hear his appeal in his rape and sexual assault convictions there. And prosecutors in Los Angeles have yet to say whether they will retry Weinstein on counts they were unable to reach a verdict on.

It is not yet clear where he will serve his time while these issues are decided.His New York sentence would be served before a California prison term, though a retrial or other issues could keep him from being sent back there soon.

Weinstein will become eligible for parole in New York in 2039.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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