Harvey Weinstein's Multiple Prison Sentences Explained

The following article includes crimes involving rape and sexual assault.

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein received his prison sentence from a Los Angeles judge on February 23, 2023 after the former film producer was convicted by an L.A. jury of rape and sexual assault two months earlier, asĀ NPR News reports. The sentence Weinstein received would be served on top of the prison sentence that had already been handed down on a similar conviction in New York. Once a high-powered figure in the film and entertainment industry, Weinstein's predatory sexual behaviors came to light in 2017.

Several women reported to The New York Times who claimed they were assaulted by Weinstein over the course of many years and by doing so, helped launch the #MeToo movement on social media. This is widely credited with exposing a number of ongoing sexual harassment and sexual assault issues for women in the workplace and other settings. Before receiving his second prison sentence in L.A., Weinstein, who was 70 years old at the time, reportedly told the judge (via Variety), "I maintain that I'm innocent."

Weinstein already received a 23 sentence in New York

Before receiving his second of two prison sentences from Judge Lisa B. Lench in Los Angeles, Harvey Weinstein already received a 23-year prison sentence in New York. At first, Weinstein faced 11 charges in Los Angeles, but four of those charges were dismissed. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on three charges, leading to their dismissal. Weinstein was then acquitted of sexual battery in one instance. In total, more than 100 women have alleged sexual assault, abuse, and harassment from Weinstein over many decades.

Referring to her assault by Weinstein, an accuser known only as Jane Doe No. 1 said in the L.A. court (via Variety), "I have been carrying this weight, this trauma, that it was my fault for years." Another victim impact statement from Joe Doe No. 1, who accompanied their daughter in the courtroom, added, "There is no prison sentence long enough to erase the damage ... I hope you give him the maximum sentence allowed." Before Weinstein received his sentencing in L.A., his defense's attorney's motion for a new trial was dismissed.

The Hollywood film producer received an additional 16-year sentence in California

Weinstein's 23-year prison sentence in New York comes on top of a 16-year prison sentence in California. The 23-year New York sentence came after Weinstein was convicted on three charges of sex assault and rape. In reported poor health, all combined, Weinstein will likely live the rest of his life in prison. At the time of his sentencing, in addition to maintaining his innocence, Weinstein reportedly said (via The New York Times), "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 ... Please don't sentence me to life in prison ... I don't deserve it."

Weinstein's defense attorney asked Judge Lench to allow Weinstein to serve his two sentences concurrently, citing Weinstein's poor health, but that request was denied. The two sentences will be served consecutively, per Lench's ruling. In December 2022, CNN reported the California jury wasn't able to come to a unanimous agreement on a number of factors that under California law would have allowed Judge Lench to hand down harsher sentencing. After the hearing, attorney Elizabeth Fegan, who represented two Weinstein accusers, said (via CNN), "[Her client's] testimony gave them the power to reclaim their voices, both for themselves and on behalf of the many other women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein ... It can't erase the trauma they've endured, but it can serve as a catalyst for change and provide hope to other survivors."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).