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Harvey Weinstein Sentenced an Additional 16 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

Harvey Weinstein Sentenced an Additional 16 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

On Thursday, former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was handed a 16-year prison sentence in Los Angeles for the charges of rape and sexual assault, in addition to the 23-year sentence he was already serving in New York. Despite facing such severe penalties, Weinstein continued to maintain his innocence, calling the case against him a setup.
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, Weinstein declared in court. He also begged for leniency from the judge, saying, Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it.
However, Weinstein’s lawyers only asked for the new sentence to be served concurrently with his current one, citing his deteriorating health due to old age. Jane Doe 1, the actress and model who provided the key testimony in his conviction, also had her say, recounting the lasting impact that the sexual assault had on her life.
Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God. I was excited about my future, she began. Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me. I thought I did something wrong because he chose me that night. I thought I did something wrong for him to do that to me. I soon became invisible to myself and to the world. I lost my identity. I was heartbroken, empty and alone.
Weinstein was convicted of 3 out of 7 charges, including rape, after a Los Angeles trial in December 2020. Although he was cleared of one charge and the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on three other charges, which were linked to a woman who did not testify, the damage had already been done. In 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker had released articles exposing the secret sexual abuse and harassment settlements Weinstein had paid out. These revelations led to a nationwide wave of women coming forward and speaking out, which was dubbed the #MeToo movement.
The punishment Weinstein is currently serving is part of the effort to bring justice to all of the victims who have had to suffer in silence for years. Weinstein’s conviction serves as a reminder that despite the decades of silence and the effects of his egregious actions, the wheels of justice still move, no matter how powerful the perpetrator.
Like in the New York trial, prosecutors in the Los Angeles trial argued that Weinstein was a renowned figure in Hollywood who used his stature to lure women into private encounters, sexually assault them and then suppress any cries for help.
The proceedings featured an array of highlyemotional testimonies from Weinstein’s alleged victims – a model, a dancer, a massage therapist and Siebel Newsom – all of whom were required to describe in detail their claims against him, narrate details of their experiences with the producer from long ago, and explain their feelings towards the reported abuses.
Jane Doe 1, whose statement was fundamental to the conviction, shared her encounter wherein Weinstein visited her hotel room and attempted to rape her.
“I wanted to die. It was revolting. It was debasing, disheartening. I did not put up a fight,” she recounted in court. “I recall how he was watching himself in the mirror and he kept telling me to look at him. I desire that this never happened to me.”
Eight females who accused Weinstein of sexual assault were scheduled to testify in the criminal trial held in Los Angeles, prosecutors declared during their opening arguments on Monday.
Every one of these ladies emerged individually and none of them knew one another,” prosecutor Paul Thompson explained to the jury, according to a pool report.
In total, eight women were made to share their testimonies of assault throughout the trial. While four women shared their accounts of abuse, four others testified in regard to the “prior bad acts,” indicating their statements weren’t associated to the charges yet were utilized by the prosecutors in order to demonstrate Weinstein had an habitual pattern in his misconduct.
Weinstein had proclaimed his innocence, and his legal defense team continued to proclaim that the allegations were either fictitious or had happened in agreement as part of a “transactional relationship” with the film producer.
Remorse is not the same as rape,” defense attorney Alan Jackson reminded the courtroom. “And it is imperative we distinguish between the two in this court of law.”
Subsequent to his conviction, the jury deadlocked on the aggravating elements that might have extended his sentence.
In an official declaration following Thursday’s sentencing, an attorney speaking on behalf of Siebel Newsom and Ashley Matthau, who both took the witness stand during the trial, commended the decision and praised them for their brave stance.
“Their statements allowed them to reclaim their voices, not only for themselves but also on behalf of all the other women who were exploited by Harvey Weinstein,” attorney Elizabeth Fegan articulated. “It may not erase the traumas they’ve gone through, but it can act as a driving force for reform and be an inspiration to other survivors.”
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