Rapist Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. The 67-year-old was convicted for rape and sexual assault.

Prosecutors argued that Harvey should be given the maximum possible sentence, considering his “lifetime of abuse” towards women and the “lack of remorse” for his actions. This was in response to Harvey’s lawyers’ appeal for leniency, in which they stated that even a minimum sentence of five years could be a “life sentence”, probably due to his age.

The disgraced film producer appeared in court on Wednesday for his sentencing. He was seen in a wheelchair. He also spoke to the court for the first time and expressed “great remorse”, but the rest of his 20-minute speech was just basically a sorry-not-sorry load of baloney.

He was reported saying the following:

“First of all, to all the women who testified, we may have different truths, but I have great remorse for all of you.”

“…I was the first example, and now there are thousands of men who are being accused and a regeneration of things that I think none of us understood.”

“It is just I’m totally confused and I think men are confused about all of these issues.”

“I just think my empathy has grown over the last 2 and a half years. I can look at everybody there, you know, and just say, you know, I understand things, I empathise, I feel things, and I was not that person until this crisis started.”

“I don’t wish for vengeance, I wish for understanding. That is why I wanted to build a hospital. I wanted to build a hospital where if somebody is accused of something, they work, women, men, me too, they work with accredited groups that come in and help them and help them grow.”

His entire speech was confusing and rambly AF, and you can read the full transcript here. But let’s just clear up his “confusion” about sexual consent. Here are a few ground rules:

  • No means no
  • You can say no, even if you’re in a relationship
  • You can say no, even if you’re already touching
  • You can say no at any point in time
  • You cannot give consent if you’re intoxicated or unconscious
  • Just because there wasn’t a struggle doesn’t mean that it’s not assault. There’s a difference between consent and submission, which can happen when the abuser is in a position of power.

After a long trial spanning years, disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is found guilty of rape and criminal sexual act. However, he was acquitted of the most serious charge against him—predatory sexual assault.

This comes as a victory for the #MeToo movement after dozens of women, including high-profile actresses like Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Cara Delevigne, Angelina Jolie and Gywenth Paltrow, came forward with allegations of various degrees of sexual harassment and assault against Harvey. This is also a step towards holding powerful men accountable for sexual harassment, especially after how similar charges against him were dropped in 2015.

Harvey was found guilty on two counts, criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree. However, on the two counts of predatory sexual assault, the jurors did not believe the testimony of Annabella Sciorra, an actress best known for her work in The Sopranos.

With this conviction, Harvey will face a possible sentence of five to 29 years. The judge ordered Harvey to be sent to jail to await his sentencing.

According to reports, Harvey experienced chest pains, heart palpitations, and signs of high blood pressure after the verdict was announced. It was further reported that he had left the courthouse in an ambulance for Bellvue Hospital Centre first, and is expected to be transferred to Rikers Island jail in New York City to await his sentencing after.

Image: TPG/Click Photos
Additional reporting: Sophie Hong

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Why It’s So Hard To Speak Up About Sexual Harassment
Sexually Harassed At Work? There Are Laws And Resources In Singapore To Protect You

Victims of sexual harassment and assault can call the Sexual Assault Care Centre on 6779-0282 (Mondays to Fridays, 10am to midnight) or find information at www.sacc.sg.