Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 16 Additional Years in Prison After Los Angeles Trial

Harvey Weinstein Court Hearing - Los Angeles, CA - Credit: Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein Court Hearing - Los Angeles, CA - Credit: Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to an additional 16 years in prison Thursday after the disgraced producer was found guilty of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault at his Los Angeles trial in December.

At his sentencing hearing Thursday, LA County Judge Lisa Lench sentenced Weinstein to 16 years in prison, to be served at the conclusion of his 23-year prison term he’s currently serving after being convicted on charges in New York.

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Given that Weinstein is 70 years old, the Los Angeles sentence ensures that, unless his lawyers successfully appeal the punishments, he will spend the remainder of his life behind bars. “He’s a 70-year-old man in bad health,” his lawyer told the judge prior to sentencing.

Weinstein faced a maximum of 18 years in prison after the jury convicted him of the three charges from a February 2013 incident where Weinstein forced himself on an Italian actress after pushing his way into her Los Angeles hotel room.

However, after 10 days of deliberations, the jury failed to reach verdicts on the rape and oral copulation charges related to Jennifer Seibel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and the sexual battery by restraint charge involving Lauren Young. Mistrials were declared for those three charges.

Given an opportunity to speak on his behalf before sentencing, Weinstein told the judge (via the Associated Press), “I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1. I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn’t know me. This is about money… “

He continued, “She perjured herself. This is a made-up story. Jane Doe 1 is an actress. She can turn the tears on. Please don’t sentence me to life in prison. I don’t deserve it. There are so many things wrong with this case. There are too many loopholes. Too many things wrong with this case. This is a setup. This is not the way to act in this situation.”

After the sentencing, Jane Doe 1 revealed herself to be Russian actress Evgeniya Chernyshova in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. In the article, Chernyshova said she only came forward with the rape claim as a means to have her own teenaged daughter tell police about the boy who had assaulted her.

Chernyshova also recounted the 2013 incident in a Los Angeles hotel room. Following an Oscars week event, Weinstein showed up at her hotel unannounced and, despite being told via the hotel lobby that they could talk tomorrow, Weinstein managed to get up to Chernyshova’s room. “He’s like, ‘Hey, it’s Harvey Weinstein. Open the door. We have to talk. I’m not going to fuck you, I just have to talk to you,’” she said.

Chernyshova ultimately opened her hotel room door “and that is the thing I have regretted for the last 10 years — that I did open this door,” she said.” Once inside, Weinstein “opened his pants, and I became hysterical. I was continuing to show my kids’ pictures, to try to convince him that, ‘I have kids, please do not do that.’ But he did what he did. He assaulted me in the bedroom, and then he dragged me to the bathroom and he raped me there.”

Following the alleged rape, Chernyshova had bouts with depression and heavy drinking, and separated from her then-husband. She came forward with her allegations, the backbone of the Los Angeles trial’s charges, just before the 10-year statute of limitations on the incident was set to expire.

The Los Angeles verdict came nearly three years after a separate jury convicted Weinstein of similar charges in New York. In that case, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

However, Weinstein’s legal team is appealing his New York conviction this summer. If that appeal is somehow successful, the Los Angeles sentence could ensure that the 70-year-old Weinstein spends his remaining years behind bars. If the appeal is unsuccessful, Weinstein could remain in prison on the New York sentence until 2043.

More than a hundred women — including actors Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, Mira Sorvino, Salma Hayek, Rosanna Arquette, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paz de la Huerta, and Asia Argento — have stepped forward with claims Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them since a Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé helmed by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey revealed he had paid off sexual assault accusers for years.

This story was updated Feb. 24 with Jane Doe 1 identifying herself as Evgeniya Chernyshova and her post-sentencing interview.

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