Could Harvey Weinstein Receive a Life Sentence? New Charges Filed Against Disgraced Producer

Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Company and Lexus Present Lexus Short Films at The Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on July 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Harvey Weinstein | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced producer who has been accused of sexual abuse by over 80 women, could spend the rest of his life in prison.

On Monday, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Weinstein on three additional sexual assault charges. The first is one count of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. Weinstein also now faces two counts of felony predatory sexual assault. These charges stem from allegations of a 2006 assault against a woman, who has not been publicly identified.

This is on top of the previous charges filed last month: two counts of rape and one first-degree criminal sex act, so Weinstein now faces six charges related to incidents with three different women.

But the previous charges Weinstein was facing carried a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, according to Vox. Now, Weinstein has been charged with two counts of felony predatory sexual assault, an even more serious crime that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“A Manhattan Grand Jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s Penal Law,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr said today. “This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward.”

Last month, Weinstein pleaded not guilty to the three felony counts and posted his $1 million bail. Until his trial, he is required to wear an ankle monitor and is not permitted to leave New York or Connecticut.

Harvey Weinstein is led out of the New York Police Department's First Precinct in handcuffs after being arrested and processed on charges of rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct on May 25, 2018 in New York City.

Harvey Weinstein | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

According to CNN, one of these original charges stemmed from allegations made by Lucia Evans. She was part of Ronan Farrow’s bombshell expose that ran in The New Yorker in October 2017. Evans told Farrow that she met Weinstein while she was still in college and was an aspiring actress. From there, she says he called her in for a meeting in his office and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’” she told The New Yorker. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him…I just sort of gave up.”

This investigation by The New Yorker, in addition to another article from The New York Times, opened the floodgates, with dozens of women subsequently coming forward and sharing similar experiences, saying Weinstein raped or sexually harassed them. Some of the women who have accused Weinstein of this criminal behavior include Asia Argento, Cate Blanchett, Cara Delevingne, Lena Headey, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mira Sorvino, and Uma Thurman.

When these original accusations came out, Weinstein apologized for causing pain with the way he behaved around women, although he denied any allegations of non-consensual sex. More recently, lawyer Benjamin Brafman defended his client in May by saying, “Mr. Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood. To the extent that there’s bad behavior in that industry, that is not what this is about. Bad behavior is not on trial in this case.”

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