Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced him to 16 years in prison for raping a woman in 2013.
While issuing the punishment on February 24, Judge Lisa Lench ruled the California sentence won’t begin until after he completes a 23-year prison term he’s already serving in New York, where Weinstein was convicted in 2020 of sexually assaulting other women.
Survivor speaks out before sentencing
In December, a Los Angeles County jury found Weinstein guilty of raping an Italian actress and model, identified as Jane Doe 1. He was convicted of forcible rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object, and forcible oral copulation. During the sentencing hearing, Jane Doe 1 urged the judge to hand down the harshest punishment possible.
Jane Doe 1 said that Weinstein’s attack has robbed her of her life, and that she continues to experience flashbacks from the assault. “There is no prison sentence long enough to erase the damage,” Jane Doe 1 told the judge. She added that Weinstein should have to endure the same fear, humiliation, and shame that she’s felt for a decade.
During the trial, the jury could not reach a verdict on charges over alleged attacks on three other women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Prosecutors say they will not retry Weinstein on those charges or additional allegations by a fourth woman.
Weinstein refuses to take accountability
Speaking for the first time since the beginning of his trial in October, the Weinstein maintained his innocence and asked the judge not to issue a lengthy sentence, saying it amounted to a life sentence. Weinstein was arguably the most powerful man in Hollywood in 2017 when sexual allegations began surfacing against the former movie mogul, sparking the #MeToo movement.
Investigations by the New Yorker and New York Times found that he used his status to gain access to models and actresses, assaulting and raping many of them. Since 2017, dozens of women have accused him of sexual misconduct. During the trial, prosecutors described Weinstein as a predator who used Hollywood as his hunting ground.