Movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for committing third-degree rape and a criminal sex act.
The disgraced 67-year-old, who was convicted on the charges last month, appeared at the New York Supreme Court in a wheelchair Wednesday to face his fate. Bringing to an end one of the most high-profile legal cases of the last decade, Judge James Burke sentenced the producer to 20 years for first-degree criminal sex act and three years for the third-degree rape of a woman.
The two sentences are due to run consecutively, which means Weinstein is ordered to serve the 20 years first, followed by the additional three-year penalty. Speaking to Fox News, the former movie mogul’s lawyer noted that, given the length of the sentence, her client will likely die in prison.
"Even if at this juncture if they offered him a sentence that was concurrent, again I think with the number that has been handed down to him today, he won't see the light of day especially given his health," attorney Donna Rotunno explained.
In response to the verdict, Weinstein indicated that he felt the legal system had been biased against him. “Thousands of men are losing due process. I’m worried about this country,” he told the judge after hearing testimony from his victims.
His victims gathered bravely in court to make their voices known and confront their abuser.
“I hope that today in sentencing I do not have to take any further detriment to my quality of life for Harvey’s behavior,” victim Jessica Mann said in her impact statement. “I ask to be given the gift of knowing exactly where Harvey is at all times so that I can truly live, and I ask that the public be given that gift as well.”
This week, unsealed emails showed that Weinstein issued a death threat towards actress Jennifer Aniston after being accused of groping her. According to a report in Oxygen, the email read: “The National Enquirer intends to publish a story reporting Jennifer Aniston was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.”
Weinstein simply replied: “Jen Aniston should be killed.”
Weinstein will now be taken into custody with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision before being transferred from the city’s jail system to the state prison system in order to serve out his sentence.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Staff
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.