Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison
Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.
The former film producer appeared at a hearing in New York this morning (11 March), where all of the women who testified against him were present.
During the hearing, one of Weinstein's accusers, Mimi Haleyi, offered a witness impact statement.
She said: "The past couple of years have been excruciatingly stressful. I've lived in fear and paranoia on a daily basis. In fear of retaliation.
"At the time all this [the sexual abuse] happened, I thought I was alone in this. I had no idea there were others.
"I believe that if Harvey Weinstein was not convicted by this jury, it would happen again and again and again."
Prior to the hearing, prosecutors urged the judge to hand down a sentence that 'reflects the seriousness' of Weinstein's offences and his 'total lack of remorse' for what he has done.
Weinstein's defence team pleaded for the most lenient sentence possible, citing his old age, health, and the impact the media spotlight had had on his young children as reasons.
A letter to the judge read: "Mr. Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media."
The ruling comes two weeks after the movie mogul was convicted of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual act in the first degree.
The 67-year-old, who was once one of Hollywood's most powerful figures, went to trial at the beginning of the year after being charged with five counts of rape and sexual assault.
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He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, but was found to be guilty of two.
However, the father-of-five was cleared of the most serious charges against him, two counts of predatory sexual assault.
During the trial, Weinstein was described by the prosecution as an 'abusive rapist' who preyed on his victims.
In her closing argument, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, said: "When Harvey Weinstein met the witnesses, he looked quite different than he does today. They were scared. They felt isolated and they were alone."
Weinstein did not testify during the trial, however, one of the women who made allegations about him did.
Speaking about an incident in 2013, she told the jury that Weinstein had 'grabbed' her and added: "I was like, 'Woah woah woah. I told you I wasn't sexual and I don't know you,' all this stuff trying to calm it down.
"He also peed on me once. It was like being discarded after I served a purpose."
This case gave birth to the #MeToo movement that encouraged women to make their allegations against powerful men - particularly within Hollywood - public, so that the men could be brought to justice.
A second criminal case, charges for which Weinstein has denied, awaits in California.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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