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Harvey Weinstein will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after LA sentence

Harvey Weinstein appearing in court in Los Angeles in Oct. 2022.
Etienne Laurent
/
Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein appearing in court in Los Angeles in Oct. 2022.

Updated February 23, 2023 at 3:01 PM ET

Editor's note: This report includes descriptions of sexual assault.

Disgraced former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 more years in prison by a Los Angeles judge Thursday. He was convicted there in December on three charges of rape and sexual assault. Separately, the 70-year-old is already serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York — meaning that it is very likely that Weinstein will now spend the rest of his life in prison.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench ordered this second sentence to be served consecutively, meaning that it will start after Weinstein completes his 23-year sentence in New York.

The woman whose testimony provided the basis of his conviction was referred to during the Los Angeles trial as "Jane Doe #1." The woman is a European model whom Weinstein raped during a film festival in Los Angeles in Feb. 2013.

The former producer — once one of the most inarguably powerful men in Hollywood — was brought to trial in California on seven charges of rape and sexual assault involving four women between 2004 and 2013. The jury found him not guilty of one charge and could not decide about three other charges.

Weinstein was initially charged in Los Angeles on eleven counts of rape and sexual assault; by the time he went on trial, prosecutors had dropped four of those charges related to a woman identified in the case as "Jane Doe #5" because the state was "unable to proceed" with her allegations.

Allegations against Weinstein by dozens of women — including those published by The New York Times and The New Yorker in Oct. 2017 — were a driving force behind the #MeToo movement. During his New York sentencing in Mar. 2020, Weinstein compared the #MeToo movement and his own situation to the Red Scare of the 1940s and '50s, during which Hollywood professionals were blacklisted for their perceived support of communism.

Edited by: Ciera Crawford

Produced by: Anastasia Tsioulcas

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.