Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison

March 11th, 2020 - 11:55 AM EDT by Adam Downer

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Harvey Weinstein with his walker

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in a New York State prison today after being convicted on first-degree criminal sex act and third-degree rape.

Weinstein was convicted in February of raping an aspiring actress and forcibly performing oral sex on a production assistant. He faced a maximum of 29 years in prison and as little as 5. His defense attorneys argued for leniency citing Weinstein's declining health and dramatic fall from grace. Prosecutors argued for harsher sentencing, noting throughout the trial that the lengthy list of allegations against Weinstein dates back all the way to 1978. Prosecutor John Illuzzi said the list of allegations “show a lifetime of abuse toward others, sexual and otherwise” and a “total lack of remorse for the harm he has caused.” Justice James Burke evidently agreed, telling Weinstein, "This is your first conviction, but not your first offense."

The sentencing caps the case that led to the start of the #MeToo era. It was the allegations against Weinstein, first brought up in 2017, that inspired actress Alyssa Milano to encourage women to share stories of predatory male behavior, throwing into harsh light the dangerous reality many women face in dealing with men.

Weinstein's history of predatory behavior had long been an open secret in Hollywood. After the allegations surfaced, old jokes from 30 Rock and Seth McFarlane about Weinstein took on newfound profundity. The allegations also lead to the outing of predatory behavior from other major Hollywood figures, including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Woody Allen, and others.

The news led #HarveyWeinsteinGuilty and #MeToo to trend on Twitter. Twitter Events covered the reactions to the trials, including those of the accusers, who spoke to the press after the sentencing.

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