American former film producer Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday in a New York courtroom.
CNN reports that, Weinstein, 67, arrived to his sentencing hearing in a wheelchair and handcuffs.
The convicted sex offender faced between five and 29 years for last month’s convictions on first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape.
The charges were based on testimony in a New York courtroom by Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, who both spoke at the sentencing.
“If Harvey Weinstein had not been convicted by this jury, it would have happened again and again and again,” Haley said Wednesday in court. “I’m relieved he will now know he’s not above the law. I’m relieved there are women out there who are safer because he’s not out there.”
Haley and the five other women who testified against Weinstein at his trial — Mann, actress Annabella Sciorra and three “prior bad acts” witnesses — arrived to court with prosecutors and sat in the front row. Actress Rosie Perez, who testified in support of Sciorra’s claims, walked in with them and sat in the second row.
Weinstein was acquitted of two more serious charges of predatory sexual assault, which could have come with a life sentence. Still, he faces five to 25 years in prison for the criminal sexual act charge, and up to four years in prison for the rape charge.
Judge James Burke decided the sentence for each charge.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon on Wednesday asked Burke to sentence Weinstein to the maximum or near the maximum sentence, with the sentences served concurrently.
Defense attorneys have asked that he get the minimum possible sentence: five years. Anything more than that is “basically the death penalty,” defense attorney Arthur Aidala said, citing Weinstein’s health and age. He called him a “broken down man.”
Weinstein has been in state custody since the verdict and has had several health issues. He had a heart procedure last week during which doctors inserted a stent, and on Sunday he fell while at Rikers Island jail, his publicist Juda Engelmayer told CNN.