Harvey Weinstein’s defense team may think his sentence is “obscene,” but mere minutes after the much-accused prodicer was sentenced to almost the maximum for his sex crimes conviction, the Manhattan District Attorney that put the once mighty movie mogul away hailed the 23 years behind bars as giving “hope.”
“We thank the court for imposing a sentence that puts sexual predators and abusive partners in all segments of society on notice,” declared Cyrus Vance Jr on Wednesday from NYC’s Criminal Courts building.
Though Assistant D.A.s Joan Illuzzi and Meghan Hast took point in the weeks long case, patrician Vance was in the 15th floor courtroom this morning with them as Judge James Burke handed the 67-year old Weinstein 20 years in prison for his conviction on first-degree sexual assault and three years for third-degree rape. Accusers Jessica Mann, Miriam “Mimi” Haley, Annabella Sciorra, Tarale Wulff, Lauren Young, and Dawn Dunning sat in the first two rows just a few feet from Weinstein as his fate was announced.
“We thank the survivors for their remarkable statements today and indescribable courage over the last two years,” Vance said of Haley and Mann’s words before prosecutors, defense lawyers, the overflow of media, Judge Burke and Weinstein himself. “Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent. But they refused to be silent, and they were heard. Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars, and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world.”
As we speak, the already incarcerated Harvey Weinstein is in the process of being taken into long term custody after being escorted out of the courtroom immediately following his sentencing. Simultaneously, and as further charges loom in L.A., an appeal is being prepared, I hear. This comes as Weinstein lead defense lawyer Donna Rotunno set the tome outside the lower Manhattan court by calling the sentence “a cowardly number to give” her client.