March 11, 2020 / 4:49 PM / 20 days ago

Harvey Weinstein's 23-year sentence brings thanks and surprise

March 11 (Reuters) - Harvey Weinstein’s 23-year jail sentence for rape and sexual assault was greeted with delight on Wednesday by some of the scores of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct dating backs decades.

A New York judge sentenced the disgraced former film producer after a grueling and emotional trial in which six women testified about the abuse they said they suffered at his hands.

“Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist. He is going to jail - but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused,” the group Silence Breakers, which speaks out against sexual assault and harassment and includes Weinstein accusers, said in a statement.

Weinstein, who appeared in court in a wheelchair before being sentenced by Justice James Burke, had faced a sentence of between five and 29 years.

“Thank you Judge Burke. Thank you to the jury. Thank you for believing survivors. Thank you for changing the future for us all,” actress Ellen Barkin wrote on Twitter.

The accusations against Weinstein fueled the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse and harassment.

Actress Jodie Turner-Smith, the star of the independent film “Queen & Slim,” wrote on Twitter: “23 years in prison for Harvey Weinstein. Justice is served.”

Appearing before the media outside court, attorney Gloria Allred, who represented three of the women who testified at Weinstein’s trial, waved a piece of paper saying, “This is what justice looks like, 20 + 3 years.”

Time’s Up, the group fighting sexual harassment in the wider workplace that was formed in 2018 as a result of the #MeToo movement, said on Wednesday that the social change triggered by the scores of women who accused Weinstein of misconduct was “nothing short of transformational.”

“We hope today’s sentence brings them some measure of peace, and that they take pride in knowing the lasting impact they’ve had on our culture,” Time’s Up added in a statement.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Will Dunham

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