Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 16 years for rape conviction in LA

The defense team was denied a new trial.

February 23, 2023, 7:32 PM

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison for rape in his Los Angeles sexual assault trial.

The sentence will be served consecutively after a 23-year prison sentence he is currently serving in New York for criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape.

The judge denied Weinstein a new trial during Thursday's hearing, following a motion from his defense that argued his conviction was based on the improper exclusion of evidence and flawed jury instructions.

A Los Angeles jury found Weinstein guilty of three of seven counts, including one count of rape of a woman identified as Jane Doe 1, late last year. He faced up to 18 years in prison.

Judge Lisa Lench sentenced Weinstein to eight years for count 1, six years for count 2 and two years for count 3, to be served consecutively.

In this file photo taken on Feb. 18, 2020, Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City.
Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Weinstein was accused by four women of assaulting them in hotels between 2004 and 2013 in Los Angeles. He faced two counts of rape and five counts of sexual assault.

The 70-year-old former movie executive pleaded not guilty and has said all of the encounters were consensual.

Jane Doe 1 addressed the court Thursday prior to the sentencing announcement, saying Weinstein's "selfish, disgusting actions have greatly impacted my life."

"Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God. I was excited about my future. Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me," she said. "I thought I did something wrong because he chose me that night. I thought I did something wrong for him to do that to me. I soon became invisible to myself and to the world. I lost my identity. I was heartbroken, empty and alone."

"My rapist did that to me," she continued.

During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Weinstein -- sitting in a wheelchair and wearing gray county jail attire -- claimed to not know Jane Doe 1 and said that she's an actress who can "turn on the tears."

Weinstein's lawyers had argued for each count to be served concurrently, citing his age and "bad health."

Following his conviction for rape last year, Jane Doe 1 said in a statement, in part, "Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013 and I will never get that back. The criminal trial was brutal and Weinstein's lawyers put me through hell on the witness stand, but I knew I had to see this through to the end, and I did."

"I hope Weinstein never sees the outside of a prison cell during his lifetime," she added.

The four women all testified during the trial, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Siebel Newsom was referred to as Jane Doe 4 during the trial, but she has been publicly identified by her lawyer.

Following Weinstein's sentencing, Siebel Newsom released an emotional, 6-minute video statement on Instagram, during which she called this "one of the hardest experiences of my life."

"What Harvey Weinstein did to me was the worst. His assault was excruciatingly traumatic. And for years, he walked away unfettered while I spent years nursing my wounds," she said, later adding that "during this recent trial and the almost three years leading up to it, I was asked, like others, to relive and lay bare the most horrific and humiliating experience of my entire life with complete strangers, the general public and even my own family in ways so harmful, more harmful than you can even imagine."

Siebel Newsom said the "most important takeaway" is that "we all have a role to play in healing this culture where violence against women is the norm."

Weinstein's lawyer, Mark Werksman, said in opening arguments during his LA trial that each allegation was a "weak and unsubstantiated trickle that will evaporate upon your close scrutiny."

In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said the witnesses testified "credibly," even under intense cross-examination.

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, on Oct. 4 2022.
Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP, File

In their motion requesting a new trial, Weinstein's defense said the judge erred when he refused to allow evidence that could have impeached the credibility of two witnesses -- Jane Doe 1 and Pascal Vicedomini, the founder of an Italian film festival in LA.

At trial, prosecutors said Vicedomini provided Jane Doe 1's hotel room number to Weinstein, who then sexually assaulted her. The defense said it was stopped from showing the jury sexually charged messages between Jane Doe 1 and Vicedomini that suggested they lied about the nature of their relationship and suggesting "it would be anathema for Mr. Vicedomini to provide his lover's room number to Harvey Weinstein."

The defense also argued it was improper for the judge to instruct the jury on a law that allows jurors to infer Weinstein was aware of his guilt. Prosecutors requested the instruction, arguing during the trial Weinstein made threats to some of his victims, including a woman identified as Jane Doe 3.

The trial in Los Angeles came more than two years after Weinstein was found guilty of similar crimes in New York City. The landmark decision came after the so-called #MeToo movement, in which powerful men were exposed for sexual misconduct, began largely around bombshell reports about the Miramax founder's behavior in The New York Times and The New Yorker in 2017.

The New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, agreed last year to hear his appeal of his 2020 sex crimes conviction in Manhattan.

ABC News' Mark Osborne, Aaron Katersky and Ashley Riegle contributed to this report.

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