Harvey Weinstein was sentenced on Wednesday to 23 years in prison following his conviction last month for third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act.
Justice James Burke, who presided over the weeks-long criminal trial of the Oscar-winning producer and entertainment executive, handed down the sentence in a Manhattan courtroom.
Just before the sentence was announced, Weinstein addressed his accusers — many of whom were in the courtroom. “We may have different truths, but I have great remorse for all of you,” he said. “I feel remorse for the situation. I feel it deeply in my heart.”
In a gravelly, almost inaudible voice, he also reflected on the trajectory of American culture in the two years since he was first accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women. He said he was the first example of “thousands of men” who have now been accused in the #MeToo movement. “I’m worried about this country,” he said, saying he thinks there is a lack of “due process.”
Weinstein lead attorney Donna Rotunno called the sentence “obscene” and “ridiculous.” “Of course it’s too harsh,” she said during a press conference.
Weinstein, who is expected to appeal the verdict, also faces a separate criminal trial in Los Angeles on charges that he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013. The L.A. District Attorney’s office announced after Weinstein’s New York sentencing that they have begun the process of extraditing defendant Weinstein to California to face the sexual assault charges that were filed in January. No dates have been set yet.
The jury found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape of Jessica Mann and a criminal sexual act of Miriam Haley (née Mimi Haleyi). However, the panel found him not guilty of two of the most serious charges — predatory sexual assault against Haley, Mann and “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra — and the first-degree rape of Mann.
Sciorra and Tarale Wulff, who testified in the trial, were among those present to support the women. Haley and Mann also read victims’ impact statements at the sentencing Wednesday.
Haley started to cry discussing the “healing” nature of speaking up, then moved on to describe the paranoia she felt in the aftermath of the assault.
“I can only hope that whatever sentence the court sees fit is long enough for Harvey Weinstein to acknowledge what he has done to me and to others and to be truly sorry,” she said.
Mann, too, requested “the accountability of a maximum sentence.”
The disgraced Hollywood mogul was taken back into custody. After the verdict on Feb. 24, he spent about 10 days on the forensic ward of New York’s Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent a heart procedure, before he was moved on March 5 to the North Infirmary Command, the medical facility at Rikers Island.