Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison for third-degree rape and sexual assault.
The allegations made by numerous women against Weinstein, 67, sparked the MeToo movement to increase public awareness of sexual assault and harassment.
The producer, who has been accused of using his position to assault dozens of actresses but only dealt with two accusers in this trial, expressed bewilderment regarding his sentence.
“I had wonderful times with these people,” Weinstein told the court regarding his accusers. “I’m just genuinely confused. Men are confused about this issue.”
After his conviction in February, Weinstein said “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?”
Meanwhile, Weinstein has been charged in California with rape and sexual battery, in a case that could lead to an additional 28 years in prison if he is found guilty. It was unclear when he would be transferred to California to stand trial.
Weinstein managed to avoid conviction on two counts of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charges against him. However, the 23-year sentence handed down Wednesday approached the maximum 29 years he could have received for his convictions.
Journalist Ronan Farrow exposed the accusations against Weinstein in a 2017 article in the New Yorker. Farrow later said his former network, NBC, had attempted to quash his Weinstein reporting because the producer had threatened to reveal sexual assault allegations against former Today Show host Matt Lauer.
Farrow also revealed that Hillary Clinton publicist Nick Merrill had told Farrow the Weinstein story “was a concern for us.” The producer was a regular Clinton donor.
(C) 2020 National Review