Disgraced Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison Wednesday morning, on one count of sexual assault in the first degree and one count of rape in the third degree — nearly the maximum sentenced possible for Weinstein’s crimes.
“Weinstein,” the Associated Press reported, “who has been accused of violating scores of women, 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. He faced a maximum of 29 years in prison.”
The possible 29 years included up to 25 years on one charge and 4 years on the other.
“For his conviction on the first-degree count of criminal sexual act, Weinstein was given 20 years in prison plus five years of supervised release,” the Hollywood Reporter said Wednesday. “On the other convicted charge, third-degree rape, he was given three years in prison. The judge decided to make the sentences consecutive, rather than concurrent.”
Weinstein will also have to register as a sex offender.
On Tuesday, Weinstein’s attorneys sent a letter to Judge James Burke, who delivered Weinstein’s sentence. In it, they begged for leniency for the former power player, arguing that Weinstein had suffered enough because of his unprecedented fall from grace — a fall from grace that he, himself, orchestrated.
“He has lost his means to earn a living,” Weinstein’s lawyers told Burke. “Simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media.” He “cannot walk outside without being heckled,” they added.
They also suggested that any sentence over two to three years could be a “de facto live sentence” for the former Miramax head, because of Weinstein’s health problems. The former mega producer reportedly suffers from back issues — he leaned heavily and dramatically on a walker during his trial — and heart issues, which forced New York corrections officials to reroute Weinstein’s police escort to Rikers Island to Bellevue hospital instead, where Weinstein underwent a procedure to insert a stent in one of his arteries. He is now recovering at Rikers where, his attorneys said earlier this week, he fell and suffered a slight concussion.
Before his sentencing Wednesday, Weinstein tried to plead with the court. “I have great remorse for all of you,” he said for the first time since being charged. “I have great remorse for all women.”
Burke appears to have felt little sympathy for Weinstein.
Weinstein may not find himself a resident of Rikers Island, however. His case will now go before New York’s corrections department, which will shuffle Weinstein to a facility that best accommodates both his health issues and his status as a high-value prisoner. Weinstien also has a date with the Los Angeles, California, court system in May; he’s facing several more charges of sexual assault.
Neither Weinstein nor his attorneys commented on the sentence, but one of Weinstein’s accuers told CBS news that while a “prison sentence can never heal me…it’s a start.”