After Harvey Weinstein’s Verdict, Survivors Finally Hear Reconciliation: ‘Weinstein Doesn’t Make Choices. Justice Has Prevailed’

After being sentenced to an additional 16 years last week, Harvey Weinstein is unlikely to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Weinstein is appealing the rape charges, but for the survivors, they feel justice has finally been served.

“He will be sentenced today. He can’t hurt anyone anymore,” Evgeniya Chernyshova, known in the case as Jane Doe #1, said at Weinstein’s sentencing on February 23 in Los Angeles Criminal Court.

“I truly believe that this sentence, and the most severe sentence, will restore faith in the justice system for many survivors,” said Chernyshova, when Weinstein was sentenced.

Chernyshova was the only woman to give a victim impact statement in the courtroom where Weinstein was sentenced, as she was the only accuser whose testimony resulted in the jury convicting Weinstein of three counts. But during the two-month trial, eight women took the stand to testify about their alleged experiences with Weinstein.

Jane Doe #3, a masseuse who remained anonymous in court, testified about multiple instances where Weinstein assaulted her during massage appointments. A jury acquitted Weinstein of sexual battery charges based on her claims. However, Jane Doe #3 showed leniency in Weinstein’s decision.

“Justice has served the survivors,” she said in a statement released by her lawyers. “No woman will have to fear Harvey Weinstein again because he will never leave prison. I testified against Harvey Weinstein, I looked this monster in the eye for three days in a terrible trial when Weinstein’s lawyers tried to destroy me and all his accusers, claiming that Harvey was the victim of the #MeToo movement. Today, the court rejected that idea and gave Harvey what he deserved.”

Jane Doe #3’s attorneys, Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Genie Harrison, praised her and other survivors for coming forward with Weinstein.

“Society owes a debt of gratitude to the brave women who ended Weinstein’s reign of terror as one of the most violent women in history,” the attorneys said in a joint statement. “It is good that he will live to remember his terrible life behind bars.”

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom and a key witness in the trial, said justice was served with Weinstein’s sentence, but warned the public not to ignore the serious issues of abusers and whistleblowers. permission. “This whole process has been one of the most difficult of my life,” she said in a video the day Weinstein was sentenced. “But the most important thing is that we all have a role to play in curing this culture in which violence against women is common.”

Siebel Newsom’s attorney, Elizabeth Fegan, said that despite the mixed verdict, Weinstein’s verdict was made possible by “eight courageous women who came forward to stand up to this rapist.” In addition to representing Siebel Newsom in the case, Fegan also represented former actress and model Ashley Matthau, who testified that Weinstein assaulted her in 2003 in Puerto Rico where she worked as a dancer in in the Miramax movie “Dirty Dancing”. : Havana Nights.”

“My clients, First California Associates Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Ashley Matthau, have decided that they are not satisfied with Harvey Weinstein’s New York conviction, particularly with the appeal in play,” Fegan said. “Their testimony empowers them to reclaim their voices, for themselves and on behalf of the many other women who have been victimized by Harvey Weinstein. It cannot take away the trauma they have endured, but it can be a catalyst for change and give hope to others.” those who survived.”

Louisette Geiss, author, writer and actress, testified during the trial as a corroborator for Siebel Newsom. She was not questioned about what she knew, but she was one of the first accusers to come forward in 2017 with allegations of sexual harassment by Weinstein.

“I’m very grateful that Judge Lench sentenced Harvey Weinstein to years in prison that will ensure he never hurts another woman again,” Geiss said. Various. “Getting evidence is more than a challenge for me and my family, but with this sentence, I know that it is all for good. It is time for abusers to feel the wrath of the justice system.”

Geiss he spoke Various Outside the courthouse with the sister of Silence Breaker, Caitlin Dulany, who accused Weinstein in 2017 of assaulting her at the Cannes Film Festival in the 1990s. serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Council with SAG-AFTRA and serves on the Anti-Harassment Committee. “While there will always be a deep sadness and a heavy weight in my heart because of the abuse I suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein more than 27 years ago, today I feel the pain of life,” Dulany said. said Dulany.

For Dulany, Weinstein’s new sentencing term represents more than just a Los Angeles trial. She said the ruling is meaningful to the more than 100 women who have publicly accused Weinstein — many of whom will never get their day in court, due to legal and other reasons.

“Knowing that Weinstein has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for his crimes against me and others confirms that justice was served today,” she said. “I stand with my fellow survivors who have the courage to come forward to tell the world what happened to Weinstein and relive those stories year after year, trial after trial to be a collective voice for all survivors, especially voiceless. While any time in prison cannot reverse the trauma that Weinstein inflicted on each of his victims – trauma that we carry and will continue to carry with us every day of our lives – I have peace of mind knowing that he will do it. He may spend the rest of his life in prison.”

Silence Breaker Jessica Barth, who sat in court for Weinstein’s sentencing along with Dulany and Geiss, called the verdict “a victory for all survivors of sexual assault.” She hopes the historic outcome of the Weinstein saga will have a positive impact on the justice system’s handling of sex crimes, which are difficult to prosecute and, statistically, are often dismissed. .

“Judge Lench’s decision should encourage the L.A. attorney’s office to bring many cases that are still pending in their office — many for months, some for years,” Barth said. Various. “Every victim of such heinous crimes deserves to have their voice heard.” (Barth suggests victims need to contact the nonprofit organization, Voices in Action.)

While Weinstein was ordered to serve two consecutive sentences in New York and Los Angeles, he is appealing both cases. Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of sexual abuse, is facing a tough trial, and many of his accusers have shared that they are not worried that he will go free now that he has been sentenced him to two long sentences in two other areas.

Before Weinstein’s lawyers announced their intention to appeal, they tried to get a new trial with a different judge, which the judge denied. Chernyshova will likely be the first subject of Weinstein’s Los Angeles appeal, as she was the source of the unsuccessful bid for a new trial. The Russian model, who testified that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2013 during the LA Italia Film Festival, has become a major focus of Weinstein’s defense, which says she withheld relevant information from The judge also accused her of getting money, after she filed a complaint. civil suit against Weinstein.

Chernyshova’s lawyer, Dave Ring, is not worried about Weinstein’s possible appeal. “Weinstein had no choice and justice prevailed,” the lawyer said.

“It took a lot of courage for Jane Doe #1 and other victims to come forward and testify against Weinstein,” Ring said. “Jane Doe #1 endured two days of cross-examination by Weinstein’s lawyers, but the jury convicted him unanimously and now the court has sentenced him.”

Although survivors praised Weinstein’s decision, they all said there is more work to be done for rape victims.

Feminist and attorney Gloria Allred, who represented three women in Weinstein’s LA trial, was disappointed that not all of her clients were given the opportunity to make victim impact statements during sentencing. (The judge only allowed Chernyshova to testify in court, since the other women’s testimony was not conclusive.)

Now, Allred is fighting for more rights for victims, who she believes should be able to speak up during the sentencing of suspected criminals. The lawyer has filed a lawsuit in the California Court of Appeals, seeking a ruling that says her clients have the right to provide victim impact statements in the Harvey Weinstein case, even without a conviction. in relation to their accusations.

“Justice was served for Harvey Weinstein, but very little for the three people I represented and testified at his trial in Los Angeles,” Allred said. Various. “Although all of my clients have either testified before a Grand Jury, or at trial, or both, the judge in this case has denied them what we suspect is their constitutional right under The California Constitution to issue a victim impact statement in Harvey Weinstein’s sentencing today. This denial hurts them deeply.”

“This case is more about how many years are included in Harvey Weinstein’s sentence,” Allred said. “It is about the right of the victim to be heard when the court decides. The victims are important and their voice is important. “

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