Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 16 additional years for LA rape conviction | Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 additional years in prison on Thursday, three months after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles.

The disgraced film producer, whose pattern of predatory behavior galvanized the #MeToo movement, was previously convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York in 2020 and is currently serving a 23-year prison term. The new sentence nearly doubles the 70-year-old producer’s remaining prison time.

In December, a Los Angeles jury found Weinstein guilty on three counts of rape and sexual assault against a single victim, a European model and actor who testified anonymously as “Jane Doe #1”. Jurors acquitted Weinstein of assaulting another woman, a massage therapist, and failed to reach a verdict on whether he raped or assaulted two other women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an actor and film producer who is now married to Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California.

Siebel Newsom posted a video message to her Instagram account after the sentencing in which she called Weinstein “a serial predator for decades” and called the entire process “one of the hardest experiences of my life”.

Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to members of the media after Weinstein was sentenced in Los Angeles, California, on 23 February.Pin
Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to members of the media after Weinstein was sentenced in Los Angeles, California, on 23 February. Photograph: Caroline Brehman/EPA

Weinstein’s second criminal trial centered on the allegations of four women who accused the producer of raping or sexually assaulting them in California, but also included supporting testimony from women who said he raped or assaulted them in similar ways in Toronto, London and Puerto Rico.

Over more than nine days of deliberation, the majority of jurors wanted to convict Weinstein on charges of sexual assault against two other women, including Siebel Newsom, but could not convince a minority of jurors, who remained skeptical of the allegations, the Associated Press reported.

In interviews with jurors, the Associated Press found that the European actor and model’s composure on the stand and her behavior after the assault convinced the jury, which included at least one “very old-school” man, that her account of Weinstein’s rape was credible beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jane Doe #1 was the only accuser who had no further direct dealings with Weinstein or his representatives after the incident. She testified she had barely known who he was, having been introduced only briefly at the film festival, and wanted nothing from him. Others, including Siebel Newsom, had friendly email exchanges with Weinstein or sought out future meetings after their incidents, a point the defense emphasized in their cross-examinations and closing arguments.

That resonated with some jurors. One male juror said he voted to convict on the Jane Doe #1 counts, but reluctantly voted to acquit on the counts involving Siebel Newsom. The difference, he said, was the women’s “subsequent action”.

“In a two-and-a-half-year period she had sent Mr Weinstein over 35 emails,” he said of Siebel Newsom. “She wanted access to Harvey Weinstein. It sounded like she wanted access to a lot of his resources. It raised a reasonable doubt in my mind.”

Another male juror said the intensely emotional testimony of Siebel Newsom, might have been too much for some fellow jurors.

“Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean and ridicule us survivors,” Siebel Newsom said in a statement after the verdict. “This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do.”

In her statement during the sentencing hearing, Jane Doe #1, weeping, spoke to “all those people who feel ashamed, who blame themselves”. Being raped, she said, had made her feel “invisible to myself and to the world” but, by coming forward to testify, “I’m no longer invisible”.

Weinstein has been publicly accused of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment by more than 90 women in incidents stretching back decades. In 2018, dozens of women, including some of Hollywood’s most prominent actresses, began to speak publicly about his behavior towards them, a series of disclosures that that galvanized the #MeToo movement and raised questions about how the film and media industries shielded powerful men from facing consequences for sexual misconduct.

A previous sentencing hearing for Weinstein in January was pushed back until 23 February to allow his attorneys to file a motion for a new trial. In the motion, Weinstein’s attorneys argued that the jury should have seen Facebook messages between Jane Doe #1 and another man who testified in the trial, which they suggested would have undermined the jury’s perception of her her credibility on the stand. His lawyers also argued that one of the instructions the jury received, related to defendants who threaten witnesses from testifying, also unfairly prejudiced jurors against Weinstein. The judge rejected these arguments.

Legal uncertainties will remain on both coasts for Weinstein. An appeal of his New York conviction is due for a hearing later this year. Prosecutors in Los Angeles have yet to say whether they will retry Weinstein on counts they were unable to reach a verdict on.

It is not yet clear where he will serve his time while these issues are decided. His New York sentence would be served before a California prison term, though a retrial or other issues could keep him from being sent back there soon. Weinstein is eligible for parole in New York in 2039.

Before his conviction in Los Angeles, some of some of the dozens of women who have spoken out publicly against him had worried that, like Bill Cosby, Weinstein could end up being released if he won his appeal in New York.

“If he was out right now, he would still be doing what he was doing before,” Dawn Dunning, who testified in Weinstein’s New York trial, told the Guardian. “We just want him to stay in prison so he can’t do this to anyone else.”

The Associated Press contributed reporting

( Information from politico.com was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

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