Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison Following Conviction in Sexual Assault Trial

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Harvey Weinstein
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Harvey Weinstein, 67, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after being found guilty of rape in the third degree and of criminal sexual assault in the first degree.

After the sentencing on Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance thanked Weinstein's accusers for speaking out.

"We thank the court for imposing a sentence that puts sexual predators and abusive partners in all segments of society on notice," Vance said in a statement to ET. "We thank the survivors for their remarkable statements today and indescribable courage over the last two years. Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent. But they refused to be silent, and they were heard. Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars, and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world."

Meanwhile, a rep for Weinstein tells ET of the sentencing, "This was a miscarriage of justice from the beginning of the process until now. His sentence doesn't commensurate with the conviction and we believe on appeal, the court's prejudice and the Prosecution's looseness with evidence and procedures, along with the extreme biases that faced Mr. Weinstein before he walked into the courtroom, the evidence will show that this case had no merit."

Weinstein was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair and before the sentencing, said he had "deep remorse," according to Variety. The outlet also reports that he pushed back at the #MeToo movement.

"I am totally confused," he said. "I think men are confused about all of this…this feeling of thousands of men and women who are losing due process, I’m worried about this country."

The court's sentencing comes two weeks after a jury determined his fate in a sexual assault trial, during which he was facing two counts of rape, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault after being accused of raping one woman in 2013 and forcing oral sex on a production assistant named Mimi Haleyi in 2006.

Following the verdict, he was remanded to jail until sentencing. However, the former Hollywood mogul was redirected from Rikers Island to Bellevue Hospital, where he ended up undergoing heart surgery. Following Wednesday's sentencing, Weinstein was then supposed to return to Rikers. However, his rep confirmed to ET that he was taken back to the hospital.

"Harvey was having chest pains and the Rikers staff decided for safety to send him back to Bellevue now," the rep said. "He will be evaluated and likely will stay overnight. We appreciate the care and concern of the Department of Corrections officers and staff."

Weinstein’s health was part of the reasoning his defense team used in a letter sent to Judge James Burke to give him a minimum sentence of five years. In addition to his recent heart issues, Weinstein is still recovering from back surgery following a car crash last summer, which has required him to use a walker when entering and leaving the courtroom during his trial. 

“Age is also a factor that militates against heavily weighting the need for deterrence,” reads the letter signed by lawyers Damon Cheronis, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, arguing that anything over five years may be a de facto life sentence. “The grave reality is that Mr. Weinstein may not even outlive that term.”

While the New York trial has drawn to a close, Weinstein’s legal troubles are far from over. In January, on the first day of the Manhattan proceedings, Los Angeles prosecutors announced new charges for allegedly “raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents back in 2013” against the disgraced mogul. 

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. If convicted, he faces up to 28 years in prison. Weinstein has maintained that his sexual encounters with the women were consensual and pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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