Weinstein Tells Judge He's Innocent as Victim Sobs

Disgraced film mogul gets another 16 years in prison
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2023 2:19 PM CST
Weinstein Gets Another 16 Years as Victim Sobs in Court
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 4, 2022.   (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP, File)

A Los Angeles judge on Thursday sentenced Harvey Weinstein to 16 years in prison after a jury convicted him of the 2013 rape and sexual assault of an Italian actor and model, per the AP. The sentence comes on top of the more than 20 years the 70-year-old Weinstein has left to serve for a similar 2020 conviction in New York, furthering the fall of the onetime movie magnate who became a #MeToo magnet. Weinstein directly appealed to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench, saying: “I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1." The woman who Weinstein was convicted of raping sobbed in the courtroom as he spoke.

Moments earlier she had told the judge about the pain she felt after being attacked by Weinstein. “Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God,” the woman, who was identified in court only as Jane Doe 1, said. “I was excited about my future. Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me. There is no prison sentence long enough to undo the damage.” Lench handed down the sentence Thursday after rejecting a motion by Weinstein's lawyers for a new trial.

Jurors in December convicted Weinstein of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault against the woman who at the trial’s opening in October gave a dramatic account of him arriving uninvited at her hotel room, talking his way in, and assaulting her during a film festival. The jury spared Weinstein an even longer sentence when they acquitted him of the sexual battery of a massage therapist and failed to reach verdicts on counts involving two other women. The defense contended during the trial that Weinstein had consensual sex with two of the women he was charged with assaulting and that two others—including the one who led to his conviction—were making up the incidents entirely.

(More Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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