Thanks to all of the silence breakers, Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his sex crimes
Harvey Weinstein’s day of reckoning has finally come. Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood film producer, was just sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of two felony sex crimes.
As reported by The New York Times, Weinstein will spend the next two decades (and then some) in a New York State prison. Justice James A. Burke handed down the sentence to the former producer earlier today, March 11th. Weinstein was found guilty of rape in the third degree and of a criminal sex act in the first degree, of two separate survivors, on February 24th.
According to the Times report, Justice Burke could have sentenced Weinstein to as little as five years, despite the crimes he was convicted of carrying a collective sentence of up to 29 years. But Weinstein’s sentencing came after prosecutors argued for a lengthy sentence, pointing to the long list of accusations made by women who claimed Weinstein was responsible for a host of sex-related crimes, dating all the way back to 1978.
Per Deadline, The Silence Breakers, the group of two dozen Weinstein accusers, including Hollywood powerhouses Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette and Rose McGowan, released a response to Weinstein’s sentencing.
“Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist,” The Silence Breakers’s statement reads.
“He is going to jail—but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused,” the statement continues. “The Silence Breaker community was founded on solidarity, support, and compassion. The New York trial has ended, but the Silence Breakers will persist in our crusade for cultural change, justice and to have our voices heard.”
The president and CEO of Times’s Up, Tina Tchen, also released a statement to the Weinstein sentencing, according to Deadline.
“We also hope that [the survivors] take pride in knowing the impact they have had on our culture at large,” Tchen said. “Whether by inspiring more survivors to come forward and seek help, changing how the justice system responds to sexual violence, or leading corporate boards to told more CEOs accountable for toxic workplace culture, the social change catalyzed by these survivors has been nothing short of transformational.”
Though he was convicted on two charges, Weinstein was acquitted of predatory sexual assault against Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann and rape in the first degree against Mann. These two not guilty verdicts also meant that jurors could not determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Weinstein was responsible for the rape of yet another alleged survivor, Annabella Sciorra.
Seeing Weinstein, one of the many powerful men who believed they could get away with their crimes, sentenced to 23 years in prison is a huge step in the right direction toward holding predatory men accountable and toward rebuilding a safer, more equal world for women to exist in.