Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison following his conviction last year for rape and sexual assault.
The disgraced movie mogul, 70, is already serving 23 years in prison in New York after his 2020 conviction on one count of rape and one count of criminal sexual assault. The new sentence was handed down in Los Angeles on Thursday, February 23.
In December 2022, a jury voted to convict Weinstein on three counts of rape and sexual assault. The charges were based on the account of a woman identified as Jane Doe #1, who claimed that the Weinstein Company cofounder raped her after a 2013 film festival.
The jury acquitted him of the charge of felony sexual battery of a woman identified as Jane Doe #3 and were split on charges involving two other accusers. Weinstein pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.
The former producer’s legal team filed a motion in January to request a new trial, claiming that the jury was improperly instructed before their deliberations. Judge Lisa B. Lench, however, denied that motion ahead of the sentencing on Thursday.
In court, Weinstein continued to deny any wrongdoing. “I maintain that I’m innocent,” he said. “I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe #1. I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn’t know me. This is about money.”
His accuser, for her part, testified that she “wanted to die” after her alleged encounter with him. “It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight,” she told the court. “I remember how he was looking in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him. I wish this never happened to me.”
The New York City native asked the court not to sentence him to life in prison, but the new sentence means that he will likely spend the rest of his years behind bars.
Last month, Weinstein appealed his New York conviction, arguing that the judge undermined his right to a fair trial by “succumbing to the pressure” of the #MeToo movement. His lawyers asked the New York Court of Appeals to dismiss Weinstein’s rape conviction and order a new trial on a single count of criminal sexual act. They argued that the rape charge can’t be retried because it involves alleged conduct outside the statute of limitations.
The Court of Appeals agreed to hear Weinstein’s appeal in August 2022 after an intermediate appellate court upheld his conviction. Prosecutors have until March 1 to respond to the new appeal.
“I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart on this,” Weinstein said in a statement in January. “Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end.”
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If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.