Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison

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Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison
Weinstein (pictured in January during trial) was hospitalised after being found guilty last month
Weinstein (pictured in January during trial) was hospitalised after being found guilty last month

(BBC) – Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein was found guilty in a trial in New York last month, finalising a dramatic fall from grace for one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures.

The 67-year-old appeared in court on Wednesday in a wheelchair.

Weinstein’s lawyers had appealed for leniency, insisting that even the minimum sentence of five years could be a “life sentence” for him.

But prosecutors argued Weinstein should be given the maximum possible sentence given his “lifetime of abuse” towards women and “lack of remorse” for his actions.

Weinstein addressed the court for the first time on Wednesday, saying he had “deep remorse” but described himself as “totally confused” by what had happened, in comments seen as critical to the #MeToo movement.

Dozens of women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape, against Weinstein since October 2017.

He has consistently denied wrongdoing and these were the first charges to make it to trial.

Weinstein was found guilty of committing a first-degree criminal sexual act against production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006 and of the third-degree rape of former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

New York jurors acquitted him of the most serious offences, for predatory sexual assault, which could have seen him given an even longer term.

All six women who testified against him during his trial sat together on Wednesday as he was sentenced and told to register as a sex offender.

Weinstein still faces further criminal charges, for rape and sexual assault, in Los Angeles.

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