Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years for Rape and Criminal Sexual Act

Share:
Harvey Weinstein, in a still from FRONTLINE's 2018 film "Weinstein."

Harvey Weinstein, in a still from FRONTLINE's 2018 film "Weinstein."

March 11, 2020

Harvey Weinstein is set to spend the next 23 years in prison for rape and committing a criminal sexual act.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday morning by Judge James Burke, after months of emotional testimony and intense media scrutiny of the disgraced Hollywood mogul.

For more than two years, the producer has faced allegations of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct from numerous women, including reports published in The New York Times and The New Yorker. Those stories sparked national debate as well as the anti-harassment and assault movement known as #MeToo.

In 2018, the FRONTLINE film Weinstein investigated allegations that the famed power-broker had sexually harassed and abused women for decades. It also detailed his and his supporters’ use of non-disclosure agreements, legal threats and private investigators to silence accusers.

On Feb. 24, Weinstein was found guilty on two charges: committing a criminal sexual act for forcing oral sex on a former production assistant, and rape in the third degree for assaulting an aspiring actress.

Weinstein had pled not guilty to the five charges he initially faced, and has continued to maintain his innocence. The morning of the ruling, he addressed the court, saying that he had “great remorse for all women” and is “totally confused.”

In a press conference outside the courthouse immediately after the ruling, Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno called the sentencing “obscene,” “ridiculous,” and “way too harsh.”

Before handing down his ruling, Burke declared that the producer must now register as a sex offender. He then announced a consecutive sentence of 23 years: 20 years in prison plus five years of supervised release for the criminal sexual act conviction, and three additional years in prison for rape.

“We remain in solidarity with the more than 100 survivors who suffered abuse, harassment, and rape at the hands of Harvey Weinstein,” Tina Tchen, president and CEO of the TIME’S UP Foundation said in a statement after the sentencing. “The trauma of sexual assault and harassment is lifelong — we can only hope that today’s sentence brings all of the survivors of Harvey Weinstein some measure of peace.”

Weinstein must now face charges, filed early in 2020 by California prosecutors, that he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another over two days in 2013. If convicted, he would face up to 28 additional years in state prison for four felony counts, including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.


Karen Pinchin

Karen Pinchin, Tow Journalism Fellow, FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism Fellowship, FRONTLINE

Twitter:

@karenpinchin

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

Here's Why Concerns About Absentee Ballot Fraud Are Overhyped
We analyzed a conservative foundation's catalog of absentee ballot fraud and found no credible threat to the 2020 election.
October 20, 2020
How McConnell's Bid to Reshape the Federal Judiciary Extends Beyond the Supreme Court
Just as Sen. Mitch McConnell helped cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for decades to come, judicial experts and journalists who spoke to FRONTLINE credit him with holding open lower federal court vacancies that President Trump then filled with conservative judges at a breakneck pace.
October 16, 2020
Official Says Vaccine Expected in January, Countering Trump
A Trump administration official leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.S. can expect delivery of a vaccine starting in January 2021, despite statements from the president that inoculations could begin this month.
October 9, 2020
Projecting Rejected Absentee Ballots in the 2020 General Election: The Methodology
Columbia Journalism Investigations shares the methodology behind its article and interactive graphic looking at whose votes count — and don't — in the lead up to the 2020 election.
October 8, 2020