Oroville Mercury-Register

Harvey Weinstein gets 16 more years for rape and sexual assault

- By Andrew Dalton

A Los Angeles judge on Thursday sentenced Harvey Weinstein to 16 more years in prison after a jury convicted him of the rape and sexual assault of an Italian actor and model, furthering the fall of the onetime movie magnate who became a #MeToo magnet.

The prison term, along with the 23 years he received in 2020 for a similar conviction in New York, amounts to a likely life sentence for the 70-year-old.

Weinstein, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing jail attire, directly appealed to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench, saying: “I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1. “The woman who Weinstein was convicted of raping sobbed in the courtroom as he spoke.

Moments earlier she had told the judge about the pain she felt after being attacked by Weinstein. “Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationsh­ip I had with God,” the woman, who was identified in court only as Jane Doe 1, said through tears as she stood at a lectern behind prosecutor­s. “I was excited about my future. Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me. There is no prison sentence long enough to undo the damage.”

Jurors in December convicted Weinstein of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault against the woman who at the trial’s opening in October gave a dramatic and emotional account of him arriving uninvited at her hotel room during a 2013 film festival in the runup to the Oscars, talking his way in and assaulting her during a film festival.

Lench sentenced Weinstein to eight years for a forcible rape count, six years for forcible oral copulation and two years for forcible penetratio­n with a foreign object, for a combined 16 years.

His attorneys requested that she sentence him to three years for each count, and have the sentences run simultaneo­usly.

“Mr. Weinstein did a lot of good for a lot of people in a 50 year career, “Weinstein lawyer Mark Werksman told the judge. “He was a man that many famous movie stars would thank in their Oscar speeches.”

Werksman cited Weinstein’s age and very poor health, suggesting a long sentence would make it unlikely he would ever see his five children outside of prison.

Jane Doe 1 could be heard crying in court throughout Werksman and Weinstein’s remarks to the judge.

“This is a made up story. Jane Doe 1 is an actress. She can turn the tears on,” said Weinstein, who insisted he had never met the woman. “Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it. There are so many things wrong with this case.”

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