In a letter to New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke on Friday, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon called on the court to give Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein a protracted prison term which she said should reflect his “lifetime of abuse” against women.
In the letter, she focused on the findings of a two-year investigation into Weinstein conducted by the District Attorney’s office, which included 16 accusations of “sexual assault and harassment”, “bad acts and behaviour in the work environment” and “other bad acts”.
In this context, Illuzzi-Orbon urged Burke to impose “a sentence that reflects the seriousness of [Weinstein’s] offences, his total lack of remorse for the harm he has caused, and the need to deter him and others from engaging in further criminal conduct”.
She accused Weinstein of displaying “a staggering lack of empathy and “treating others with disdain and inhumanity throughout his entire adult professional life”.
“He has consistently advanced his own sordid desires and fixations over the well-being of others”, Illuzzi-Orbon argued.
She blamed Weinstein for “destroying people’s lives and livelihoods” and “exhibiting an attitude of superiority and complete lack of compassion for his fellow man”.
“What is obvious from this list of misdeeds is that many of them are frighteningly similar to the events testified to at trial. It is therefore totally appropriate in this case to communicate to a wider audience that sexual assault, even if perpetrated upon an acquaintance or in a professional setting, is a serious offence worthy of a lengthy prison sentence”, she emphasised.
Weinstein Found Guilty of Sexual Assault, Rape
Her remarks come after Weinstein was convicted by a New York jury of sexual assault and rape in late February.
The jury of seven men and five women found Weinstein guilty of first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape. He was acquitted of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault charges that could have seen him behind bars for life. Weinstein is due to remain in custody until sentencing on 11 March.
Since 2017, dozens of Hollywood employees and famous actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and Jennifer Lawrence have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, with some of the accusations dating as far back as 1980.
Weinstein has repeatedly denied the accusations, insisting that all his sexual relationships were consensual. The allegations against Weinstein marked the beginning of the #MeToo global movement against men who abuse their power.