Five days before sex offender Harvey Weinstein is due to be sentenced in a New York City courtroom, prosecutors made it clear they want the judge to throw the Oscar-winning producer in jail and toss away the key.
Listing off a multi-page recount of rapes and other sexual assaults of which the February 24-convicted Weinstein has been accused, Assistant D.A. Joan Illuzzi-Orbon on Friday vehemently condemned the man a jury found guilty of felony sex crime and rape charges. Set to stand before Judge James Burke in Lower Manhattan’s Criminal Courts building on March 11, Weinstein, currently incarcerated at Rikers Island, is looking at a sentence of five to 29 years.
The chief prosecutor doesn’t name a figure in today’s 11-page correspondence (read it here). Yet, you can pick up pretty easily what Illuzzi-Orbon is putting down when she states: “the People will ask the the Court to impose a sentence that reflects the seriousness of defendant’s offenses, his total lack of remorse for the harm he has caused, and the need to deter him and others from engaging in further criminal conduct.”
Before the sentencing hearing and laying out her case to Burke after the six-week trial that saw Weinstein found guilty on the lesser two charges of the five he faced on total, the Assistant D.A. notes decades of “(1) sexual assault and harassment; (2) bad acts and behavior in the work environment; and (3) other bad acts.”
“These acts, viewed in the totality, establish that throughout his entire adult professional life, defendant has displayed a staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity,” Illuzzi-Orbon writes of Weinstein, who was moved from Bellevue Hospital yesterday to the infirmary at the infamous Empire State prison.
“He has consistently advanced his own sordid desires and fixations over the well-being of others. He has destroyed people’s lives and livelihoods or threatened to do so on whim,” she adds of the notoriously volatile producer. “He has exhibited an attitude of superiority and complete lack of compassion for his fellow man. What is obvious from this list of misdeeds is that many of them are frighteningly similar to the events testified to at trial.”
Representatives for Weinstein had no comment on the letter from the D.A’s office when contacted by Deadline. However, the defense team is expected to send a letter of their own to Burke in the next few days. That letter will surely advocate for leniency for the seemingly health-challenged producer.
With an appeal in the NYC case also a certainty, Weinstein next faces rape and other charges in California. Announced on the first day of the NYC trial on January 6, the L.A. charges could see Weinstein imprisoned in the Golden State for up to 27 years if found guilty. L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey has not made public an arraignment date for the producer, but expect that to drop soon after next week’s sentencing, I hear.
First arrested New York in late May 2018, Weinstein faced two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape in New York. Subject to travel restrictions reinforced last August 7, he had been out on a $5 million bail after entering a not guilty plea on July 9, 2018. Weinstein entered a plea of not guilty again on August 26 last year when a new indictment was added.
Accused by Ashley Judd in a now temporarily halted case, failing to get a sex-trafficking class action tossed out, and the subject of a more recent lawsuit from a woman who says he abused her when she was 16 in 2002, Weinstein is also facing allegations from close to 100 other women who say he sexually assaulted or sexually harassed them. At present, several of those individuals are refusing to participate in a potential $25 million over-arching settlement that is part of an overall $45 million deal on the table. News has been quiet on that front for several weeks and sources tell me the deal is pretty much dead.