'Sordid' Weinstein must be punished with harsh sentence – prosecutors
Harvey Weinstein deserves a harsh sentence after decades of carrying out his “own sordid desires and fixations over the well-being of others”, prosecutors have said.
The disgraced former movie mogul will be sentenced next week after being convicted of rape and sexual assault charges in New York.
Ahead of the hearing, prosecutors detailed a number of allegations starting with a claim by a woman that she woke up in the middle of the night in a hotel room in Buffalo, New York, in 1978 to find Weinstein on top of her and “forcing himself sexually on her”.
Prosecutors said that encounter fit a pattern that continued for decades which saw Weinstein getting young women alone in hotel rooms and other settings before sexually attacking them, often while trying to trick them into thinking it was a path to stardom.
Based on “a lifetime of abuse toward others, sexual and otherwise”, prosecutors said they are seeking a sentence that “reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s offences” and punishes him for “his total lack of remorse for the harm he has done”.
Throughout his adult life, Weinstein has shown a “staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity” the letter to Justice James Burke read.
“He has consistently advanced his own sordid desires and fixations over the well-being of others.
“He has destroyed people’s lives and livelihoods or threatened to do so on whim.”
One of Weinstein’s lawyers, Arthur Aidala, declined to comment on Friday.
The letter to the court comes in advance of Weinstein’s sentencing on Wednesday for his conviction on one count of a criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006 and one count of third-degree rape for a 2013 attack on another woman.
His lawyers had said at trial that any sexual contact was consensual.
On the criminal sex act count, Weinstein faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 25 years in prison, while the third-degree rape count carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.
The judge could have the sentences run concurrently.
Weinstein, 67, was moved to New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex on Thursday after undergoing a heart procedure at the hospital where he had been held since his conviction last month.