It was on February 24 that the jury in Manhattan reached a verdict, after almost a month of trial. Harvey Weinstein was then found guilty of a first-degree criminal sexual act and a third-degree rape (which refers to the lack of explicit consent). The jury acquitted Weinstein of the two main charges against him, namely predatory sexual assault. This Wednesday in New York, the sentence of the former Hollywood producer and one of the faces most targeted by the MeToo movement was finally known. Weinsten was sentenced to 23 years in prison – the maximum sentence on the horizon was 29 years, while five years was the minimum.
At the end of the session, words were heard from the 67-year-old producer, admitting remorse, but exclaiming that the #MeToo movement had gone too far. "I'm very confused. I think men are confused by all this … with this feeling that thousands of men and women are losing their lawsuits. I am concerned about this country ”, describes Variety. "The United States of America is not experiencing the right environment," he added, breaking the trend of silence that usually guides the behavior of defendants in situations like these. Second Harvey, quoted by CNN, repentance comes “from the heart” and will dedicate your life to “trying to be a better person”,
"If I hadn't been convicted by this jury, it would happen again and again," said one of the former producer's victims, Mimi Haleyi, in the face of this outcome. Weinstein was found guilty of a criminal act of the first degree with respect to the complaint of Haley, a former production assistant who accused him of forcing him to practice oral sex in 2006, in his apartment in TriBeCa (downtown Manhattan) . Haley's story goes back to July 10, 2006, when the then production assistant was at Harvey's apartment at his invitation. 20 years was the penalty attributed to this case.
Weinstein was also found guilty of rape in the third degree in the case of Jessica Mann, a hairdresser and aspiring actress whose identity was only released on the first day of auditions. Mann accused the former producer of raping her in 2013 in a hotel room in Manhattan. In this case, the sentence was fixed at three years in prison.
In this morning's session, Weinstein claimed to have maintained "great friendships" with the two main sources of the prosecution, Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann. Both submitted statements before the sentence was read. Haley told Judge James Burke that he was emotionally affected by the incident. Jessica Mann, the source of the rape complaint against Weinstein, also referred to the horrors of being "raped by someone with power."
Since meeting the verdict in February, Weinstein, who arrived in court in a wheelchair, has divided his time between Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where he underwent heart surgery, and the prison's infirmary. Rikers Island. In a post-sentence press conference, Donna Rotunno, the producer’s lawyer, considered the decision “obscene”.
In the aftermath of the sentence, Harvey must undergo medical examinations and psychological at the Fishkill Center in New York, then going to a prison in this state. Part of the process of entering and welcoming into the prison system, which is not expected to be easy, will involve watching videos intended for the prevention of suicide, a particularly relevant measure given the recent history that involves the death of Jeffrey Epstein – and after himself defendant already having relevant suicidal thoughts.
This is far from being a completed case, however. After New York, the accusations coming from California and which may dictate the return to the dock. In Los Angeles, Weisntein is accused of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another. Both cases date from February 2013 and will have happened on two consecutive days. According to the LA Times, Weinstein faces four more charges.
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