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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Harvey Weinstein’s Sentencing for a Rape Conviction in Los Angeles Postponed

Weinstein, 70, was found guilty of violently raping a woman in California in 2013

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UNITED STATES: As a result of Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ request for a new trial, his sentence for his second Los Angeles rape and sexual assault conviction has been postponed until February.

Weinstein, 70, was found guilty of violently raping a woman in California in 2013 and now faces an additional 18 years in prison. He was found guilty of rape and sexual assault in New York in 2020 and is currently serving a 23-year jail term.

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In case the motion for a new trial is refused, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench stated at a brief hearing on Monday morning that she anticipates Weinstein will be sentenced on February 23.

More than 90 women have publicly accused the disgraced film producer of rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment in cases dating back decades. This public reckoning sparked the #MeToo movement in 2018. The film producer showed up in court on Monday wearing a jail uniform.

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In all of his criminal cases, Weinstein entered a not-guilty plea to all counts and has maintained that he has never engaged in extramarital sex.

In October 2022, the former movie producer would stand trial for a second time in Los Angeles. It’s the same city where he once was a Hollywood power broker.

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On three counts of rape and sexual assault against a European model and actor who testified under the alias “Jane Doe 1,” he was found guilty in December.

In the Los Angeles case, four women testified that Weinstein had raped or otherwise sexually abused them in California. However, after a month-long trial, Weinstein was only found guilty of the counts based on the testimony of one woman. 

Jurors cleared Weinstein of allegations based on one woman’s testimony, but they were unable to decide on the claims made by two additional women, including those of filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the governor of California’s wife, and the most well-known accuser who has not yet testified against Weinstein in court.

Before he is sentenced, only Jane Doe 1 is anticipated to provide a victim impact statement.

The disgraced businessman could now spend an additional 18 years in prison. The Los Angeles jury was unable to agree on whether Weinstein was eligible for additional prison time based on aggravating circumstances in the case; therefore, he escaped a term of up to 24 years.

Some of the numerous women who spoke out against Weinstein said his sentencing in Los Angeles was crucial since he is appealing his New York conviction and the state’s highest court has agreed to hear the case. 

Even if his earlier high-profile conviction is reversed, as was the case with Bill Cosby, Weinstein’s California conviction will guarantee his continued imprisonment.

The Los Angeles trial, which contributed to the fall of the Hollywood power broker, was characterized by Weinstein’s attorneys’ aggressive defense strategies, which included calling Siebel Newsom a “bimbo” and attacking the veracity of his accusers. 

Legal experts remarked that the defense’s overt misogyny was startling and reminded them of 1980s strategies at times.

The Los Angeles jury was split on a number of the criminal charges Weinstein faced after weeks of graphic, emotional testimony from four women. These women claimed Weinstein had raped or assaulted them in hotels throughout the city. Four additional women also testified about a pattern of alleged rapes and sexual assaults in other cities around the world.

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein to Stand Trial in Los Angeles, Five Years after Bombshell Reports


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