Harvey Weinstein Has Been Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison | 22 Words

Over the past 3 years, the world has watched the fall of Harvey Weinstein. The decades-long catalog of sexual abuse, of which he was accused, sparked the global #MeToo movement, with several celebrities coming forward about their own experiences with Weinstein - forcing people to finally open their eyes to the sexual abuse that goes on in Hollywood.

Now, he has finally been sentenced. Keep scrolling to see what exactly this means and the extent of his horrific crimes...


It was in 2017 when allegations against Hollywood giant, Harvey Weinstein, first emerged publically.

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It all started when The New York Times published a story detailing decades worth of allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein. Actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd were among the women who come forward about the film producer, the BBC reports.

The accusations were truly disturbing.

Among the accusations were that he forced female employees to massage him and watch him naked. He was also accused of offering to help them further their careers in exchange for sexual favors.

At the time, Weinstein disputed these claims.

Weinstein issued an apology stating he "has caused a lot of pain" but denied that he harassed female employees over a thirty-year time frame. Following this, he took a leave of absence, and days later it was revealed that he had been sacked by the board of his company, The Weinstein Company.

Many people came forward about the abuse they surfaced at the hands of Weinstein.

British actress, Romola Garai, told the Guardian that she felt "violated" when Weinstein auditioned her when she was eighteen, stating that he had answered the door to his hotel room in a bathrobe. Hollywood A-listers including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie also said they were harassed by Weinstein.

And they weren't alone...

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Allegations from thirteen more women were published in the New Yorker magazine, including 3 accusations of rape, which Weinstein maintained his innocence on.

The accusations against him began mounting up.

More women bravely came forward about the abuse, including supermodel Cara Delevingne and actress, Lupita Nyong'o.

And many other big players in Hollywood admitted they knew about his misconduct and treatment of women.

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In late 2017, Quentin Tarantino admitted he knew about Harvey Weinstein's treatment toward women for years. "I knew enough to do more than I did," the film director told the New York Times.

It was also claimed that Weinstein used private investigators to cover up sexual abuse claims.

With countless allegations against him dating as far back as the '70s.

Weinstein's downfall marked a real shift in Hollywood.

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It was one of the first times where a man of such high profile was starting to be held accountable for sexual assault.

And of course, it sparked the beginning of the global #MeToo movement.

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Including the red carpet blackout at the 2018 Golden Globes in solidarity with the victims of Weinstein's abuse.

In November 2017, around a month since allegations against Weinstein first surfaced...

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The police in New York announced they actually had a case against him.

On 25 May 2018, Weinstein turned himself into New York police on sexual misconduct charges.

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According to the BBC, days later, a grand jury in New York indicted him on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act, moving the case towards a trial. One of those women was later identified as the former actress, Lucia Evans, who says she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein in 2004.

After decades worth of allegations, on 6 January 2020, the trial process began.

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Weinstein faced 5 counts for alleged non-consensual encounters. The counts were 1 count of rape in the first degree, 1 count of rape in the third degree, 1 count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, and 2 counts of predatory sexual assault.

Prosecutor Meghan Hast said he was a "seasoned" sexual predator.

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She gave details of allegations by 3 women, 2 of whom are on the charge sheet.

Former Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra was among the 6 women called to testify.

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She said Weinstein raped her at her home twenty-five years ago, after having forced himself into her apartment and attacking her.

Actress Jessica Mann also took to the stand.

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Mann stated that he once trapped her in a hotel bedroom and raped her. 3 of the 5 charges against Weinstein related to Mann.

Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist. He was found guilty on 24 February 2020.

The jury found Weinstein guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape.

The verdict came after 5 days of deliberations.

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The jury of 7 men and 5 women at the New York supreme court took five days to reach their verdict, The Guardian reports.

What do the charges mean?

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New York law states third-degree rape is when a "person is guilty of rape in the third degree, when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person:

Who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 17 years old. Who is less than 17 years old, and the defendant is 21 years old or more. Or without such person's consent, which is withheld for some other reason than incapacity to consent."

His third-degree rape conviction carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison and no minimum.

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Although, it does require Weinstein to register as a sex offender.

As for his conviction for "criminal sexual act in the first degree"...

New York law states that criminal sexual act in the first degree when he or she engages in o*** sexual conduct or a*** sexual conduct with another person: By forcible compulsion; or Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or Who is less than eleven years old; or Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years old or more."

Weinstein was acquitted of the most serious charges of predatory sexual assault, however.

He had denied all charges. He has been acquitted of first-degree rape and 2 counts of predatory sexual assault, charges that could have seen him jailed for life, the BBC reports.

Weinstein still faces more charges in Los Angeles of rape and sexual assault of 2 women in 2013.

One of the women, an Italian model and actress, told prosecutors that Weinstein raped her in the bathroom of a Beverly Hills hotel after she met him at a film festival.

His conviction in New York marks a historical moment for all of the women he took advantage of for decades.

"No matter how powerful a person is, no matter how much mud or dirt may be flung at those who have the courage to come forward, we are in a new time. The #MeToo era has thankfully started to unmask these systems of abuse of power, and now women can be heard and believed," said Michelle Simpson Tuegel, an attorney representing victims of sexual assault.

It's about time these powerful men were held accountable.

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More than eighty women, including famous actresses, had accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching back decades.

After the guilty verdict was reached...

According to the New York Times, his lawyers said that Weinstein left the courthouse in an ambulance at around 4:30 p.m. He was taken to an infirmary on Rikers Island, the city’s jail complex.

His verdict has been celebrated on social media.

So many women are scared to speak out against these powerful men, so this is a huge moment.

Weinstein's victims were among those reacting to the news online.

Including Ashley Judd, who was the first woman to go on the record about Weinstein's abuse.

Italian actress and director Asia Argento, another of his accusers, spoke out on Instagram.

"Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist."

Actress Rosanna Arquette wrote on Twitter:

"Gratitude to the brave women who’ve testified and to the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense."

Weinstein is now going where he belongs... behind bars.

And today, he was finally sentenced.

Weinstein has been sentenced to twenty-three years behind bars.

All 6 of the women that testified against him sat together in the front row of the courtroom, the Independent reports.  This is a developing story. We will update as new details surface.