Former Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison for raping a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2013, which is to be consecutive to the 23 years he’s already doing time for regarding his 2020 sex crimes convictions in New York.
Judge Lisa Lench sentenced Weinstein to eight years for forcible oral copulation, six years for forcible rape and two years for penetration with a foreign object, all to run consecutively.
“These are not easy decisions to make, but this is my decision,” she said.
Before he was sentenced on Wednesday, the 70-year-old denied raping the woman and told Lench the victim is merely after his money. “I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1. I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn’t know me,” he said.
Weinstein’s comments followed those of Jane Doe 1, a former Russian-Italian actress and model, who was choking back tears as she told Lench of her struggles since the 2013 attack and how she’s thought about Weinstein “every single day.”
“Before that night, I was a very happy, confident woman. I valued myself and the strong relationship I had with God. I was in control of my life and my career. I was a loving mother and wife, a good friend. I was excited for my future,” she said. “Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me. I lost all of this. I was very scared and ashamed to report my sexual assault.”
Jane Doe 1 said she “lost my identity… He has broken me into a million pieces” and called Weinstein “the man who ripped apart my soul and has no regret.”
“There is no prison sentence long enough,” she told the court.
Jane Doe 1 was still in tears when Weinstein’s lawyer, Mark Werksman, stood to ask that his client be sentenced to three years in prison, arguing that the three convictions don’t warrant three consecutive sentences.
“He never stopped between acts and resumed,” Werksman said. He said Jane Doe 1’s testimony indicates Weinstein’s attack was “one frenzied 10- to 15-minute ordeal.”
Werksman also asked Lench to consider Weinstein’s health: He has diabetes, a spinal issue, severe pain, and arthritis; the former top producer has lost four teeth in the last 17 months while undergoing painful root canals, he said, adding that his client’s life before incarceration also should be considered.
“Mr. Weinstein did a lot of good for a lot of people in a 50-year career,” he told the court. “He produced hundreds of films that were a joy to millions of people. … He was a man that many famous movie stars would thank in their Oscar speeches. He lived a full, rich and productive life that included being a father to five children.
“Please do not sentence the man who has become a caricature because of the #MeToo movement,” Werksman said and asked Lench to give Weinstein hope of holding his children again, and of his family being reunited.
Weinstein echoed Werksman’s comments about joy when he spoke, first apologizing to Lench for being unable to stand from his wheelchair because of his spinal issue.
“I tried all my life to bring happiness to people,” Weinstein told the judge.
He also said the case against him has too many problems to justify a lengthy prison sentence.
“Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it. There are so many things wrong with this case,” Weinstein said. “There are too many loopholes. Too many things wrong with this case.”
“I beg your mercy,” Weinstein said to the judge.
He also referenced the “cottage industry” of lawyers who want to put their clients on the stand for a lawsuit settlement. That touched on the issues his lawyers raised in their motion for a new trial: Jane Doe 1 sued Weinstein after trial, despite testifying that she had no plans to do this. Weinstein said she “perjured herself” by denying a sexual relationship with a film festival organizer, which was part of the motion for a new trial that Lench had rejected before sentencing.
Werksman and his co-counsel Alan Jackson said they will file a notice of their appeal of Weinstein’s conviction and sentencing later on Thursday.
Lench also rejected a request from attorney Gloria Allred to delay the sentencing to allow the appellate court to consider a writ she filed asking that her clients be allowed to speak at the sentencing hearing. Allred’s clients include Jane Doe 2, as well as Jane Doe 5 and Natassia Malthe, a Norwegian model who testified as a so-called prior bad acts witness under California Code of Evidence 1108. This allows testimony about a defendant’s “past sexual misconduct, alleged and otherwise when they are currently on trial for a sex crime.”
Jane Doe 5 never testified, and Judge Lench ended up dismissing the four charges involving her at the request of prosecutors.
Jurors split 10-2 in favor of convicting Weinstein of sexual battery for Jane Doe 2, who has been identified publicly by her true name, Lauren Young, and was a witness in Weinstein’s New York trial in 2020. Jurors also deadlocked 8-4 in favor of convicting Weinstein of raping Jane Doe 4, who is California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
Jurors acquitted Weinstein of felony sexual battery involving Jane Doe 3, who is Hollywood masseuse Juls Bindi, but deadlocked on a misdemeanor sexual battery charge.
Lench only permitted Jane Doe 1 to speak on Thursday. She was joined by several supporters, including her daughter, and her lawyer, Dave Ring.
Two jurors who convicted Weinstein attended the sentencing, as did an alternate juror.
The jurors who deliberated were there after speaking with Weinstein’s lawyers about information regarding Jane Doe 1 that Lench didn’t allow in the trial.
Weinstein’s lawyers included declarations from them with their motion for a new trial that said the jurors wouldn’t have convicted Weinstein if they knew of sexually charged text messages between her and another witness that Lench didn’t allow in the trial, among other information. But Lench said the declarations were speculative and also said it isn’t appropriate to second-guess jury deliberations.
One of the jurors said after the hearing that he doesn’t feel bad for Weinstein and feels he deserves to be sitting there. Another said, “I’m not here to advocate for the defense. I’m here to advocate for the law.”
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