Hollywood has sealed this Thursday the fall of whoever was one of its kings. Harvey Weinstein will spend the rest of his days in prison. The former producer received a new sentence this morning that extends his time behind bars. Judge Lisa Lench has added 16 years to his sentence, which the filmmaker must serve in a California prison once he has served the 23-year sentence he was sentenced to in New York after a trial in 2020. In December, a Los Angeles jury Angeles found Weinstein guilty in a new rape case and two other charges of sexual harassment committed against a woman at a luxury hotel a decade ago.
“This is a lie. I was not there. This is a trap,” Weinstein said after hearing the sentence read by the judge. The prosecution requested 24 years for whoever was the all-powerful man of independent Hollywood cinema, who has maintained his innocence this Thursday. The filmmaker has been using a walker for several months to get around because, according to his lawyers, he has been affected by heart problems and diabetes. Last week he appeared in court dressed in an orange jumpsuit from the local county jail. This Thursday he has appeared in a suit and tie to hear the new sentence. His legal team has started a battle for a repeat trial in New York and they wanted his client to be sentenced to only three years in Los Angeles.
The conviction puts an end to the process against Weinstein on the West Coast. The former producer, who will turn 71 in March, arrived in Los Angeles in July 2021. Eight women, models and actresses, who had filed charges for crimes ranging from rape to sexual harassment, were waiting for him here. The prosecution focused throughout the trial, which lasted two months, on the testimony of four victims, including Jennifer Siebel, the wife of current California Governor Gavin Newsom. The prosecution used the testimony of 44 women to document the long list of abuses that Weinstein committed since at least 2013.
The jury had trouble convincing themselves of guilt on all the charges the former producer faced. The 12 members deliberated at length for nine days. The verdict revealed on December 19 made it clear that he was only found guilty of three charges committed against one of the four women. Her identity remains secret and she has only been called Jane Doe 1 during the court proceedings, where Weinstein pleaded not guilty. The eight men and four women who made up the jury acquitted the filmmaker on one of the charges and did not reach a unanimous position on three other charges made by two victims.
The victim, born in Russia but based in Rome, was the first called to testify by the prosecution. On the dais she recounted how she had been tricked by Weinstein when he was visiting Los Angeles as part of an Italian film festival taking place in the city in February 2013. The producer showed up at her hotel room unannounced. previously. She there she forced her to have oral sex with him in her bed. He easily dominated her by outweighing her by at least 45 kilos. He then took her to the bathroom and raped her.
The jury heard during the trial how the victim described feeling guilty for not having done more to stop the sexual predator. The woman, whose native language is Russian and spoke little English, thought Weinstein did not understand her as she repeatedly and clearly denied her advances. After the rape, the model began to drink alcohol excessively. “She was destroying myself,” she recounted last year. “I felt very guilty, mainly because I had opened the door of my room in that hotel,” she added. This Thursday, Weinstein maintained before the judge her innocence. “I never raped or sexually abused that woman. I never met her. And the reality is that she does not know me, “said the sentenced man. Two jurors were present Thursday at the sentencing hearing.
Lawyer Gloria Allred, an icon of the #MeToo movement, complained last week that Judge Lench did not lend the court room to the voices of Weinstein’s victims. The togada determined that this Thursday only the testimony of Jane Doe 1 could be heard, whose story has been the only one that the jury found credible to lead to a new penalty against the former producer. Allred, on the other hand, believes that the magistrate’s decision violates the rights of the victims beyond the verdict. “I am not going to turn the session into an open forum on Mr. Weinstein’s conduct,” the judge said a week ago, when she confirmed that only Jane Doe 1 would give a voice to the victims of the most feared man in Hollywood.
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