Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. Judge James Burke handed down the decision in a Manhattan courtroom Wednesday as the disgraced movie mogul watched, flanked by his legal team.
His 20-year sentence for a criminal sexual act, the more serious of the two counts he was convicted of last month, is on the higher end of New York state's guidelines. For the other count, rape in the third degree, Weinstein was sentenced to three years in prison.
The sentence Wednesday caps Weinstein's precipitous fall from the heights of Hollywood, where for decades he brandished his power and influence like a blunt instrument — and allegedly sexually assaulted dozens of young women, intimidating them and others into silence.
Those allegations, which gathered momentum with the release of a pair of exposés in October 2017, landed him in court earlier this year to face his first criminal trial. The charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, could have led to him spending the rest of his life in prison — though jurors, after hearing weeks of arguments and deliberating another five days, acquitted him of the most serious charges.
Weinstein's legal team cited this mixed verdict in its sentencing letter to the court, pointing out his charity work and arguing that two of the principal witnesses in the trial — Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann — offered "extremely complicated" descriptions of their relationships with Weinstein.