Harvey Weinstein’s prosecutor said that the movie producer deserves a stiff prison sentence for his conviction on sexual assault and rape charges, saying that he has engaged in a series of “frighteningly similar” attacks upon women dating back to the 1970s.
In a memo to the sentencing judge describing a “lifetime of abuse,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi cited at least 16 alleged rapes and sexual assaults by the producer that are not part of the case.
Illuzzi did not recommend a specific prison term, but asked the judge to consider the defendant’s “history of misconduct.”
Weinstein, who was convicted on Feb. 24 after a jury trial, is set for sentencing on Wednesday. He faces at least five years and as long as 25 years behind bars for first-degree sexual assault of Project Runway assistant Mimi Haley in his SoHo loft in New York in 2006. He was also found guilty of third-degree rape, which carries a maximum of four years in prison, for assaulting aspiring actor Jessica Mann in 2013. Weinstein was cleared of two counts of predatory sexual assault.
The prosecutor urged New York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke to take into account Weinstein’s “abusive behavior in the workplace” that included “bullying, screaming” of employees and subordinates, along with punching his brother, Bob, in the face so hard that he knocked him out during a business meeting.
Illuzzi also pointed to other “bad acts” that included hiring the private security firm Black Cube to investigate those who Weinstein feared would report him to authorities.
“Throughout his entire adult professional life, defendant has displayed a staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity,” Illuzzi wrote in an 11-page memo. “He has consistently advanced his own sordid desires and fixations over the well-being of others. He has destroyed people’s lives and livelihoods or threatened to do so on whim.”
Arthur Aidala, a lawyer for Weinstein, declined to comment.
Aidala has said that Weinstein will appeal his conviction, arguing that he did not get a fair trial.
Weinstein’s legal team is expected to file its own sentencing memo to Burke early next week.
During the trial, prosecutors called not only Haley and Mann as witnesses, but also Sopranos actor Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Weinstein raped her in the early 1990s.
Prosecutors won permission to call three other women to show that Weinstein used “forcible compulsion” upon Mann and Haley. Weinstein argued throughout the trial that the sexual encounters were consensual.
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