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16 Years in Prison for Harvey Weinstein in Sex Abuse Case

16 años de prisión para Harvey Weinstein por caso de abuso sexual, EFE

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The Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday sentenced former film producer Harvey Weinstein to 16 years in prison after he was convicted of three counts of rape and sexual abuse of an Italian model.

A California jury had convicted him last December of rape, sexual penetration and “forcible oral copulation” against the woman.

The 70-year-old former Hollywood mogul will have to serve the 16-year sentence after the 20 years he still has to complete, the result of the trial he faced in 2020 for similar conduct.

This Thursday, Weinstein denied in court that he committed any crime and asked not to be sentenced to “life in prison.”

“I maintain that I am innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted this woman. I never met her and the fact is she doesn’t know me. It’s about money,” he said in statements broadcast by media outlets such as CNN.

The victim, who did not want to reveal her identity, also had the opportunity to speak and assured that until the night the producer abused her “she was a very happy and self-confident woman.”

On December 19, 2022, Weinstein, creator of an empire in the film industry, was found guilty of three counts of abuse following a trial held in Los Angeles that lasted approximately two months.

The producer was tried on seven counts that were based on allegations from four women whose sexual abuse occurred between 2005 and 2013, all allegedly in Los Angeles hotel rooms.

Two of them were for rape while the other five were for sexual harassment. Weinstein was acquitted of one of the charges against him and the jury was unable to reach a plea agreement on the rest.

Weinstein’s representative, Juda Engelmayer, told celebrity media outlet TMZ that the jury’s decision was “a cruel sentence, given his age, his health and the conditions of his sentence in Los Angeles,” and alleged that the woman had lied in her statements.

Last February, Weinstein’s defense requested a new trial for the producer from the judge in charge of the case, Lisa B. Lench and the deputy prosecutors, Paul Thompson and Marlene Martinez.

His attorneys, Alan Jackson and Mark Werksman, claimed to have evidence that they were unable to present during the last trial and that if they had done so they would have gotten a different response from the jury. However, the motion was not granted.

The wave of accusations against Weinstein began in 2015, when some actresses began to speak out about his abuses.

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But Weinstein didn’t see his career crumble until October 2017, when U.S. newspaper The New York Times and days later The New Yorker magazine uncovered a decades-long history of sexual harassment and abuse perpetuated by the producer.

The case became a banner of the feminist #MeToo movement, as it encouraged dozens of artists to speak out about the movie mogul’s abuses, including established actresses such as Uma Thurman, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.

Her case also brought to light the impunity with which men in positions of power in the industry engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior against women.

So far, more than 80 women have accused the former producer of sex crimes and improper behavior and these sentences against him close one of the most controversial cases of abuse perpetuated in Hollywood.