Weinstein lawyers seek 5 years in jail for sex crime conviction

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein faces up to 29 years in prison after being found guilty of rape and sexual assault. (Reuters)
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Updated 10 March 2020

Weinstein lawyers seek 5 years in jail for sex crime conviction

  • Harvey Weinstein faces up to 29 years in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault and rape
  • Lawyers mentioned his poor health and age, as well as his ‘accomplishments’ and ‘charitable endeavors’ in asking for leniency

Lawyers for former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who was convicted last month of rape and sexual assault, have asked a New York court to take into consideration his health and age and sentence him to prison for five years.
Weinstein, 67, faces up to 29 years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.
“Please accept this letter as our request that the court sentence Mr. Weinstein to a period of incarceration of five years,” three of Weinstein’s lawyers said in a letter addressed to Justice James Burke of state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Reuters saw a copy of the letter, which was signed by lawyers Damon Cheronis, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala and dated Monday. Sentencing is due on Wednesday.
Weinstein’s conviction was a milestone for the #MeToo movement, which was fueled by his case starting in late 2017. The movement inspired women to accuse hundreds of powerful men — in entertainment, business, the media, politics and other fields — of sexual misconduct.
Last week, Weinstein was transferred to New York’s Rikers Island jail complex from Bellevue Hospital after undergoing a procedure to clear a heart blockage.
In their letter, Weinstein’s lawyers mentioned his poor health and age, as well as his “accomplishments” and “charitable endeavors.”
“His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of the jury’s verdict,” they said.
Jurors acquitted Weinstein on the two most serious charges against him, predatory sexual assault, which carried a maximum life sentence.
New York prosecutors said last week Weinstein should get a prison sentence that reflects not only his conviction for sexually assaulting two women, but a “lifetime of abuse toward others.”
Throughout his adult life, Weinstein has shown a “staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office said in a letter to Burke.
Weinstein, who reshaped the independent film industry with critically acclaimed pictures such as “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” fell from grace after more than 70 women, most of them young actresses and others in the movie business, accused him of rape and sexual misconduct dating back decades.
He denied the accusations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.
In addition to his convictions in New York, Weinstein faces several felony charges in Los Angeles in connection with alleged sexual assaults against two women in 2013.


Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

Updated 29 March 2020

Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

  • The couple covered 42.2km by running more than 2,100 laps
  • The whole distance took them 5 hours, 9 minutes and 39 seconds

DUBAI: A South African couple who ran a marathon on the balcony of their Dubai apartment, streaming it online, plan to take the project global to help people shake off the coronavirus blues.

Collin Allin, 41, and wife Hilda covered the 42.2-kilometer distance by running more than 2,100 laps of their 20-meter long balcony from dawn on Saturday.

A stopwatch provided by the couple shows they covered the distance in five hours, nine minutes and 39 seconds.

“We did it ... #balconymarathon,” Allin said on Instagram, congratulating his wife on her first ever marathon and thanking the virtual crowd that cheered them on.

“Thank you for all the love and support for doing something silly... was great to have you all along for the ride,” he said.
The couple’s 10-year-old daughter Geena acted as race director, putting up signs marking “start” and “turn around” and providing her parents with water and snacks as well as inspirational music.

Allin said he planned to organize a “bigger, global and more inclusive run next” where people who are under lockdown but keen to stretch their legs can join for a few kilometers or more.
“This is about giving people something else to think about,” Allin told AFP. “It’s about getting people to connect, as everyone is worried about the impact of coronavirus.”
The pandemic has wiped out international sporting schedules and triggered lockdowns that have limited options for outdoor exercise in many countries, but enterprising people have found ways to fit in a workout.
Elisha Nochomovitz, a 32-year-old who lives near the French city of Toulouse, ran a marathon on his balcony which measures just seven meters.
He reportedly managed the feat in six hours and 48 minutes, nearly double his best marathon finish time.