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Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison

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Harvey Weinstein, center, flanked by his defense attorneys, listens during his sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams/AP)
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Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, 67, was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison, the Associated Press reports. This follows his conviction last month for two counts of sexual assault: a criminal sex act on Miriam Haley at his apartment in 2006, and third-degree rape of Jessica Mann in 2013. He received 20 years for the criminal sex act and 3 years for the third-degree rape.

Weinstein was found not guilty of more serious charges in his trial last month, avoiding convictions for predatory sexual assault. That helped Weinstein avoid a potential life sentence. But if he were to serve the full sentence, Weinstein would be over 90 years old when released. He is expected to appeal his conviction.

The Weinstein case has been one of the biggest to come out of the #MeToo movement, following in-depth reporting on his alleged use of his power to sexually assault and harass numerous women.

When he was running Miramax Films, Harvey Weinstein was at the top of Hollywood. He traveled by private jet, stayed at the most exclusive hotels, and won multiple Academy Awards. Yet all the while, according to scores of survivors and the recent trial, Weinstein exploited that power in a coercive and criminal way.

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His downfall is remarkable not only for proving that no one is above the law, but also as a repudiation of all of Weinstein’s tactics — including bullying, threats, private investigators and complicit colleagues — that kept his victims silent for so long.

Even as he was sentenced in a Manhattan courtroom, Weinstein's remarks verged on the delusional. “I had wonderful times with these people,” Weinstein said in court before he was sentenced, in the presence of the six women who testified against him. In a rambling speech that seemed more interested in explaining away his (and other sex offenders’) crimes than in asking for leniency, he also said, “I think men are confused about all of this.”

In some ways, that last statement echoed what Weinstein said when the first investigations into his behavior were published by the New York Times and the New Yorker in late 2017. At that point, he said his sin was not that he had assaulted women but that he simply was born at the wrong time. “I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” he said. “That was the culture then.”

During his trial, Dawn Dunning testified that Weinstein said he would help her acting career if she agreed to group sex with him and one of his assistants. “This is how the industry works,” Dunning said Weinstein explained.

Maybe it did then. With Weinstein behind bars, and facing another trial in Los Angeles in the months ahead, it might not any longer.

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In a statement today the District Attorney's office said they are beginning the process of extraditing Weinstein to California. His L.A. arraignment date still hasn't been set, but he will eventually face one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint, according to the DA's office.

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