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#METOO: Former Hollywod producer, Weinstein kicks as he bags 23 years prison term for rape, sexual assault

FORMERLY recognised as one of Hollywood top producers, Harvey Weinstein who has been accused of violating scores of women, was sentenced to 23 years imprisonment on Wednesday.

The Miami Herald reported that the entertainment mogul was convicted last month of raping a woman in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman at his apartment in 2006.

The disgraced film producer who arrived at court in a wheelchair, committed a “lifetime of abuse towards others” as well as the crimes for which he has been convicted, prosecutors said.

In their sentencing letter, prosecutors outlined 16 examples they said showed Weinstein “trapped women into his exclusive control” so he could sexually assault them, starting when he was working as a music producer in Buffalo in 1978.

During the hearing, Weinstein told the court men facing allegations in the #MeToo movement are accused of “things that none of us understood”

Weinstein contends that any sexual activity was consensual. After he was convicted he proclaimed, “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?” according to his lawyer, Arthur Aidala.

While Weinstein did not testify during his trial, he spoke in court at the sentencing. “Thousands of men are losing due process. I’m worried about this country,” he said.

Once one of Hollywood’s most influential figures, Weinstein, 67, was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant, Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actress, Jessica Mann following a trial earlier this year.

Looking back during the trial at emails they exchanged, he said, he thought they had a good friendship: “I’m not going to say these aren’t great people. I had wonderful times with these people. I’m just genuinely confused. Men are confused about this issue.”

On the criminal sex act count, he faced a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 25 years in prison, while the third-degree rape count carried a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

He was acquitted of the more serious charges against him of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein was sentenced days to his 68th birthday, his lawyers argued that a lengthy prison term would, in effect, be a life sentence.

From indications, the defendant is likely to appeal the court sentence.

 

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