(JTA) — Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday, more than two weeks after being found guilty on two counts of rape and sexual assault.
Weinstein, 67, could have been sentenced to a maximum 29 years or as little as five years, The New York Times reported.
In a statement before his sentencing, Weinstein said “I really feel remorse in this situation,” but added that “thousands” of men are losing due process for behavior about which “they are confused.” He said, “I’m totally confused. Men are confused about this issue.”
The six women who gave graphic accounts on the witness stand of Weinstein’s sexual assaults sat in the front row of the gallery during the sentencing by New York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke, who presided over the trial.
Since March 5, Weinstein has been housed in an infirmary unit on Rikers Island prison since his conviction on Feb. 25. He spent the interim period in the hospital due to chest pain. A stent was implanted in his heart.
His defense team has already launched the appeals process. He was acquitted of the more serious charge of first-degree rape, and of the most serious charges in the case, two counts of predatory sexual assault.
Weinstein still faces charges in a separate case in Los Angeles. His indictment in that case was announced on the first day of his Manhattan trial.
His attorneys had asked the judge for leniency.
“He lost everything,” his lawyers wrote in a letter to Burke, referring to his divorce and the loss of his company, Deadline Hollywood reported. “His fall from grace has been historic.”
Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct that took place over decades, including actresses such as Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow.