Harvey Weinstein exits a Manhattan court on February 20.

  • Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.
  • The sentence comes more than two weeks after a jury convicted him of first-degree criminal sexual act against the former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and third-degree rape against the hairstylist Jessica Mann.
  • Weinstein faced a maximum of 29 years in prison.
  • He gave a statement in court for the first time on Wednesday, saying he was "confused" and lamenting that "thousands of men are losing due process."
  • His defense team is appealing the conviction.
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Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday, two weeks after a jury convicted him of sexual assault and rape.

The disgraced former Hollywood producer was found guilty of one count of first-degree criminal sexual act against the former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006, and one count of third-degree rape against the hairstylist Jessica Mann in 2013.

Prosecutors had asked Judge James Burke to deliver the maximum sentence of 29 years: 25 for the criminal sexual act conviction, and four for the rape conviction. Ultimately, Burke sentenced him to 20 years for the former and three for the latter. The sentences will run consecutively.

Both Haleyi and Mann gave victim impact statements in court, urging Burke to give Weinstein the harshest possible sentence.

"I have found my voice and hope for a future where monsters no longer hide in our closet," Mann told court.

Weinstein himself gave a statement in court for the first time on Wednesday, speaking for roughly 10 minutes and lamenting at one point that "thousands of men are losing due process."

He also said he was "confused" by the ordeal, and believed that he had a good friendship with Haleyi and Mann.

"I'm not going to say these aren't great people. I had wonderful times with these people. I'm just genuinely confused. Men are confused about this issue," Weinstein said, according to the Associated Press.

Weinstein's defence attorneys are appealing the conviction. They asked the judge for the minimum sentence of five years, arguing in a filing that Weinstein should receive the lightest punishment largely because of his poor health that would make a lengthy prison term "a de facto life sentence."

Weinstein arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court on February 24.

"The grave reality is that Mr. Weinstein may not even outlive that term," his attorneys said of the five-year minimum.

Weinstein, who appeared thin and frail throughout the trial and used a walker for support after a recent back surgery. In a last-ditch attempt to have Weinstein released on bail before his sentencing on February 25, his attorneys even argued that Weinstein was going blind and required daily injections in his eyeballs.

Weinstein even arrived in court in a wheelchair Wednesday morning, just days after undergoing a heart procedure while in custody.

Weinstein was also charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault, which bore a maximum sentence of life in prison, but the jury acquitted him of both counts.

Weinstein's conviction was seen as a bellwether of justice for sexual assault survivors

Wednesday's sentencing caps off a months-long trial process that saw grueling and emotional testimony from six accusers, including Haleyi and Mann.

Prosecutors sought to use the other women's testimony to demonstrate an alleged pattern of criminal behavior, with each woman telling the jury stories that bore striking similarities.

The model Tarale Wulff, former actress Dawn Dunning, and model and writer Lauren Young all told the jury they met with Weinstein under the pretense of business meetings, only to be groped or even raped when they arrived.

All six women were present in court for Weinstein's sentencing on Wednesday, seated in the first row just behind prosecutors.

The six witnesses were just a small pool of the roughly 100 women who have publicly accused Weinstein of wrongdoing since October 2017, when The New York Times and The New Yorker published bombshell reports that documented decades of alleged abuse from the famed Hollywood producer.

The public deluge of allegations sparked a resurgence in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and prompted a national reckoning over how to hold powerful men accountable and whether to believe their accusers.

Though Burke and Weinstein's attorneys repeatedly urged the jury not to consider the trial a referendum on the #MeToo movement, their verdict vindicated his accusers and was widely seen as a landmark case for sexual assault and rape survivors.

Weinstein potentially faces a whole new trial in Los Angeles

Despite Wednesday's sentencing, Weinstein's legal troubles aren't over. Beyond a potentially lengthy appeals process, he also faces more sex crimes allegations in Los Angeles, where prosecutors have charged him with rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint.

Those allegations stem from two women who have both alleged he attacked them in 2013. One accuser alleged Weinstein raped her after pushing his way into her hotel room, and the second accuser said he trapped her in his hotel bathroom after a business meeting and groped her and masturbated.

It's still unclear what will happen with that case in the wake of Weinstein's sentencing. Prosecutors could opt to pursue a whole new trial, or they could seek to cut a plea deal that would spare both Weinstein and his accusers more arduous court proceedings and testimonies.

After Wednesday's sentencing, Weinstein was ordered transferred to Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, New York, after spending the last week in an infirmary unit at New York City's Rikers Island jail complex.

Though Weinstein was ordered to Rikers immediately after his conviction on February 24, he was held at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for more than a week due to high blood pressure and heart palpitations.

His spokesman told media last week that Weinstein underwent a heart procedure to have a blockage removed, and was transferred to Rikers after that.

At the Fishkill facility, Weinstein will receive a medical evaluation before he is assigned to a state prison facility, prison officials told ABC News. It's unclear where he'll be sent, but facilities in Fishkill, Bedford Hills, and Coxsackie have residential medical units.

This article has been updated.

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