Harvey Weinstein lawyer calls 23-year sentence ‘obnoxious’ and claims judge bowed to public pressure

Donna Rotunno has been a high-profile member of Weinstein’s defence team

Clémence Michallon
New York
Wednesday 11 March 2020 22:38 GMT
Harvey Weinstein jailed for 23 years

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer has called his 23-year prison sentence “obnoxious”.

Donna Rotunno, a high-profile member of Weinstein’s defence team, spoke outside the courthouse on Wednesday shortly after Judge James Burke handed Weinstein the sentence.

Weinstein was previously found guilty of a criminal sex act and third-degree rape as part of his criminal trial in New York City. He had faced up to 29 years in prison in the case.

“That sentence that was just handed down by this court was obscene,” Rotunno told reporters.

“That number was obnoxious.”

She said the number “spoke to the pressure of movements and the public”.

“That number did not speak to evidence, nor did it speak to justice,” she added. “I am overcome with anger at that number. I think that number is a cowardly number to give.

“I think the judge caved just as I believe the jury caved, and I am not happy.”

The defence team has said it intends to appeal the New York verdict.

Weinstein faces separate sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, where the local district attorney said on Thursday he had started extradition proceedings.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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