Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein has asked a New York Jury for a five-year sentence as he faces 29 years behind bars, ahead of his rape conviction sentencing on Wednesday.
The TV producer/filmmaker was last month convicted on two out of five counts – criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree and faces almost 29 years behind bars.
The jury convicted the 67-year-old after he went on trial in early January over charges of rape and sexual assault.
Weinstein was ordered to go to the notorious Rikers Island jail, and ahead of his conviction on Wednesday, his legal team is now pleading for mercy, as they want the jury to give him a five-year jail term arguing he is already suffering from a ‘historic fall from grace’ and serious health issues.
Now, according to Variety who obtained the legal documents filed by Weinstein’s attorneys on Monday, they cited his charitable contributions, while also claiming the harsh public backlash should be taken into account when pronouncing judgment.
“Mr. Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” the attorneys wrote.
“Deserved or not, this is certainly a unique and extremely severe consequence that Mr. Weinstein had to endure, and in the age of social media and given his fame, virtually unrivaled when compared to any other defendant in the state of New York if not nationally.
“The grave reality is that Mr. Weinstein may not even outlive that term’ making it ‘a de facto life sentence,’ according to the reports.
“His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of the jury’s verdict,”
The move by the defense team comes after the prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, on Friday filed her own 11-page memorandum, in which she documented 36 additional uncharged allegations against Weinstein ranging from sexual assault to workplace harassment and bullying, urging the jury not to reduce his sentence.
“These acts, viewed in the totality, establish that throughout his entire adult professional life, the defendant has displayed a staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity,” Illuzzi wrote.