Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer disgraced during the heyday of the “#metoo” movement, just saw his already long stay in prison nearly doubled thanks to the sentencing from the court in Los Angeles, which tacked another 16 years onto his existing, 23 year sentence.
Before the sentencing, Weinstein claimed that the case was a “setup,” saying “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. This is about money.” Continuing, he said “Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it.” He also claimed he wasn’t even there for the assault, saying “It is incredible to be convicted for a crime I wasn’t even present for. I never raped or assaulted anyone.”
Well, the judge in the case disagreed and decided that he did deserve to spend the remainder of his live in prison. That might have been because of the powerful testimony of the victim. She said, in part “Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God. I was excited about my future,” she said. “Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me. I thought I did something wrong because he chose me that night. I thought I did something wrong for him to do that to me. I soon became invisible to myself and to the world. I lost my identity. I was heartbroken, empty and alone.”
She also testified, when describing the assault, “I wanted to die. It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight. I remember how he was looking in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him. I wish this never happened to me.”
The victim did, however, refuse to allow other alleged victims of Weinstein to make statements about his predatory behavior, saying “I’m not going to make this an open forum on Mr. Weinstein’s conduct.” They did testify about his conduct, however, with 8 women in addition to “Jane Doe 1” testifying that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them.
One of the prosecuting attorneys, Elizabeth Fegan, commented on their having testified, saying “Their testimony gave them the power to reclaim their voices, both for themselves and on behalf of the many other women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein. It can’t erase the trauma they’ve endured, but it can serve as a catalyst for change and provide hope to other survivors.”
Mr. Weistein’s attorneys, on the other hand, tried to frame his sexual relationships as “transactional,” arguing that “Regret is not the same thing as rape. And it’s important we make that distinction in this courtroom.”
The court evidently decided that, regardless of how much regret was involved, Mr. Weinstein also is a rapist and so sentenced him to 16 more years in jail, nearly doubling his existing sentence and ensuring he’ll be put away for a long time, probably the rest of his life, as punishment for what he did.
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