NEW YORK — Convicted movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years on rape and criminal sex act charges, officials said.
In a personal statement, Weinstein expressed remorse, saying he thought he had “great friendships” with Miriam Haley, who he sexually assaulted in 2006, and Jessica Mann, who he raped in 2013. He said "I'm really trying to be a better person."
“I had no great powers in this industry,” the statement said. “I couldn’t blackball anybody ... I wasn’t about power, I was about making great movies.”
As the sentence was handed down, the women who testified against him hugged and cried. He spoke before the sentencing.
Before sentencing, Mimi Haleyi released a victim impact statement, saying Weinstein "crushed a part of my spirit." "I am relieved there are women out there who are safer before he is not out there."
Outside the courthouse, Defense Attorney Donna Rotunno said she was "not happy" with the sentencing. "He never had a fair shake from day one."
Attorney Gloria Allred held up a sign that said 20 + 3 and said "This is what justice looks like."
Weinstein had been moved to a Rikers cell last Thursday after being hospitalized immediately after his Feb. 24 conviction.
PIX11's Dan Mannarino obtained exclusive images of the 67-year-old at Bellevue Hospital, where he was checked out for heart palpitations and high blood pressure.
Prosecutors said he deserved a harsh sentence for having “trapped women into his exclusive control” so he could sexually assault them, but lawyers for Weinstein said he only deserved five years in prison after already suffering a “historic” fall from grace and serious health issues.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the sentence puts "sexual predators and abusive partners in all segments of society on notice."
“We thank the survivors for their remarkable statements today and indescribable courage over the last two years. Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent. But they refused to be silent, and they were heard," Vance said in a statement. "Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars, and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world.”
Officials had said Weinstein faced a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 25 years in prison on the first-degree criminal sex act count, and a maximum penalty of four years in prison for third-degree rape.
He was found not guilty of three other charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carried a potential life sentence.
The allegations against Weinstein spawned the #MeToo movement. His trial is seen as a landmark moment for the cause.
This story comprises reporting from the PIX11 News reporters Allison Kaden and Ayana Harry.