Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault, his accusers thought they would never see this day.
Weinstein, who has been accused of violating a multitude numbers of women, was convicted last month of raping a once-aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing sexual acts on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006. He faced a maximum of 29 years in prison.
Both women confronting Weinstein again in court on Wednesday after their testimony helped seal his conviction at the landmark #MeToo trial.
“It takes a very special kind of evil to exploit connections to leverage rape,” said the 2013 rape accuser.
“Rape is not just one moment of penetration. It is forever,” added the woman, who recalled a moment during the trial when she left the witness stand in tears and then could be heard screaming from an adjacent room.
“The day my screams were heard from the witness room was the day my voice came back to its full power,” she said.
Weinstein, who has maintained that any sexual any sexual activity was consensual, showed no visible reaction to the sentence.
He told the court he felt “remorse for this situation” but said he was perplexed by the case and the #MeToo climate in which it unfolded. “Thousands of men are losing due process. I’m worried about this country,” he said, arguing that men are being accused of “things that none of us understood.”
“I’m totally confused. I think men are confused about these issues,” he said in a calm but creaking voice, adding that he had fond memories of his accusers.