Harvey Weinstein, once a powerful Hollywood mogul, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on February 23 for the rape of a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel, which could leave him behind bars for the rest of his life.
With our correspondent in Washington, Cristóbal Vásquez, and the AFP.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced this Thursday in Los Angeles to 16 years in prison for sexual abuse and rape of an Italian actress in 2013. Weinstein, 70, is already serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York for similar crimes. The court ordered the former producer to serve this sentence at the end of the sentence he is currently paying.
In a wheelchair, before hearing the punishment, Weinstein asked for “mercy” before the court. “Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it,” he said, insisting that he was innocent. “This is for money,” he added.
The sentence was described as symbolic of the sentence he was already facing in New York, but gained importance after Weinstein was allowed to appeal the court decision in the Big Apple. So then, the decision of the court in Los Angeles will define the rest of the years that remain.
“Destroyed, empty and alone”
For its part, Weinstein’s defense argued that the women had a transactional relationship and that if they had sexual relations it was in exchange for professional favors.
In addition, defense lawyers have requested a new trial, arguing that the jury received incorrect instructions and that they were prohibited from presenting certain evidence related to the case of the Italian actress they call Jane Doe 1.
The victim, whose identity was withheld, wept at the hearing, saying Weinstein’s “selfish and horrible” actions left her “destroyed, empty and alone.” “Everything changed after the defendant brutally attacked me,” said the woman. “There is no sentence long enough to undo the damage,” she added through tears.