photo: Splash News

Disgraced media producer Harvey Weinstein has just been sentenced to 23 years in prison, reports CNN. Judge James Burke handed down the sentence for Weinstein's rape and criminal sexual act convictions, which would have called for a sentencing of between five and 29 years.

Several of Weinstein's victims were present in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, and two victims read victim impact statements aloud.


Victims Jessica Mann and Miriam Haley both spoke in open court.

"I believe that when he attacked me that evening with physical force, with no regard for my cries and protests, it scarred me deeply, mentally and emotionally," Haley said during her victim impact statement. 

"The past couple of years have been excruciatingly stressful. I’ve lived in fear and paranoia on a daily basis."


Jessica Mann spoke about the pain of the criminal trial.

In Mann's statement, she spoke about the day she had a panic attack while testifying in court. Her screams could be heard from another room, reported The New York Times.

"The day my uncontrollable screams were heard from the witness room, was the day my whole voice came back into my power," she said, reported Los Angeles Times court reporter James Queally. She asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence on Weinstein, noting the discrepancy in severity between rape and some mandatory drug sentences. "How am I not worth more than cocaine?"


A few of Weinstein's other accusers also attended the hearing.

Along with Mann and Haley, the four other Weinstein accusers (actress Anabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Lauren Young, and Tarale Wulff) who testified in court attended the sentencing hearing. With the exception of Sciorra, these accusers testified without charges against Weinstein as "prior bad acts" witnesses; the prosecution intended to show Weinstein's pattern of criminal sexual predation.

As the sentence was read aloud, the accusers embraced, reported Daily Beast reporter Pilar Melendez.


Weinstein's defense team issued a statement in reaction to the sentence.

Weinstein's attorney Donna Rotunno spoke to the press outside the court, calling the sentence "obscene," and that 23 years "did not speak to the evidence that came out at trial."  She said that Weinstein "never had a fair shake from day one."


It's not over for Weinstein.

Weinstein still faces criminal charges in Los Angeles. He has been charged with one count of forcible rape, one count of forcible oral copulation, and one count of sexual penetration, from an alleged assault that occurred in 2013. He continues to deny all accusations of nonconsensual sex.