Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in a New York State prison for rape and sexual assault by Supreme Court Judge James Burke on Wednesday.
Weinstein, who has been accused of violating scores of women, was convicted on Feb. 24 of raping a woman in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman at his apartment in 2006. He faced a maximum of 29 years in prison.
The sentencing ends the disgraced Hollywood moguel’s New York trial, which began on Jan. 6. His team said they will appeal the jury’s decision to convict him on two of the five charges he faced.
Burke told Weinstein that he will be formally registered as a sex offender, before issuing his sentence.
Weinstein was given 20 years in prison plus five years of supervised release for his conviction on the first-degree count of criminal sexual act and he was given three years in prison on the third-degree rape charge.
Both women that Weinstein was convicted of assaulting spoke in court Wednesday before Burke announced the sentence, confronting Weinstein again after their testimony helped seal his conviction at the landmark #MeToo trial.
Burke also heard from Weinstein’s lawyers, who pleaded for leniency because of his age and frail health, and prosecutors, who said the man once celebrated as a titan of Hollywood, deserved a harsh sentence that would account for allegations of wrongdoing dating to the 1970s.
“Mr. Weinstein has a multitude of medical issues, there are lists of things that are physically wrong with him and are serious,” his lawyer Donna Rotunno said. “Mr. Weinstein has a history of heart disease in his family. This is a situation that the loss of freedom … will affect his ability to get the type of medical care he will need for the list of issues he is dealing with.”
Weinstein told the court that “thousands of men are losing due process. I’m worried about this country.”
He also said that he was confused by the rape case that put him in prison.
Weinstein, who has maintained that any sexual any sexual activity was consensual, said that he had fond memories of his accusers.
Before his sentencing, Weinstein said he has “great remorse” for the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
“I have great remorse for all of you. I have great remorse for all women.”
“I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart,” he added.
Weinstein was convicted of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006. A second criminal case is pending in California.
Haleyi broke into tears as she told Burke that the 2006 attack scarred her deeply, made her rethink her career in the entertainment business and left her feeling paranoid and afraid of retaliation. She said she avoids dating because she doesn’t want to hurt people, have them feel embarrassed or distance themselves when they find out what happened to her.
“I believe that if Harvey Weinstein was not convicted by this jury, it would happen again and again and again,” Haleyi said.
Weinstein was moved last Thursday to an infirmary unit at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex after undergoing a heart procedure at the hospital where he’d been held since his conviction last month.
Weinstein was charged in California with raping a woman at a Los Angeles hotel on Feb. 18, 2013, after pushing his way inside her room, and sexually assaulting a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel suite the next night.
Weinstein could get up to 28 years in prison on charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery in the California case. Authorities have not said when he would go there to face those charges.
Three more sexual assault cases under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and Beverly Hills’ police could mean that he’ll face additional charges. No details have been provided on these cases.
—With files from The Associated Press