The judge has just slapped convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein with a life sentence. And it feels like justice. Finally, the time has come to lock up the big-shot movie producer who has been preying on women in Hollywood for decades.
The trial in New York
Weinstein was charged with five counts of predatory sex acts, rape, and criminal sex acts. At the New York trial, the judge found him guilty of a criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. But he was acquitted on the other more serious charges like predatory sexual assault.
Outside the courthouse, the power of the #MeToo movement was evident as many women showed up outside wearing black and chanting anti-assault anthems. The trial included graphic, emotional testimonies from Weinstein’s accusers, involving hotel rooms and career promises.
Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette were there to support fellow survivors: ‘Time’s up on empty apologies without consequences, and time’s up on the pervasive culture of silence that has enabled abusers like Weinstein,’ said Arquette.
So it’s basically a life sentence
The judge sentenced Harvey Weinstein to 23 years in prison. This sentence is close to the maximum of 29 years allowed. But his defense argued that any sentence longer than five years is basically a life sentence for the predator. Why? Well, Weinstein turns 68 next week. He’s an old man, and could likely die in prison. Oh, well.
Here’s what the rapist had to say
At 67, Weinstein spiraled into disgrace as victims spoke out against his sexual abuse and harassment. Subsequently, he lost most of his fortune estimated at $150 million, according to Channel24.
In court, Weinstein said he was ‘totally confused’. ‘I’m worried about this country,’ he said and also claimed that his ’empathy’ sparked the #MeToo movement. Can you imagine being this delusional?
How many victims?
More than 80 women have accused him of sexual abuse. Altogether, the accusations span 40 years. Four whole decades of abuse. Included in this massive group of silence-breakers are Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek.
The convictions are as follows: Weinstein raped actress Jessica Mann in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant, in 2006.
They both testified in court with powerful statements. Mimi Haleyi explained that Weinstein’s abuse diminished her ‘confidence and faith in people.’ And Jessica Mann told the court: ‘My monsters are no longer hiding in my closet.’
He arrived smiling and with a walker
During the trial, Weinstein reportedly showed confidence. He laughed and smiled for journalists. Following back surgery, he used a walking frame as he entered and left the court.
Somewhat disturbingly, Weinstein’s defense argued that his achievements (over 300 Oscar nominations) should count for something: ‘His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of the jury’s verdict,’ his lawyers wrote.
He was in a famously violent prison
While awaiting his sentence, Weinstein spent some time in the infamously violent Rikers Island jail. This is the same jail that once held 2Pac. After the conviction, he went to the hospital for a stent op as he had chest pains.
So what’s next? Now, he will likely go to LA where he faces even more sexual abuse charges.
We applaud the survivors. This victory is because of them.
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