When the judge read Harvey Weinstein’s verdict in court on Wednesday morning, someone in the room gasped. More than two years after Megan Twohey’s, Jodi Kantor’s, and Ronan Farrow’s reporting helped ignite Tarana Burke’s Me Too movement, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. The 67-year-old will also be formally registered as a sex offender. While the defense found the 23-year sentence “obnoxious,” Gloria Allred waved it around proudly, emerging from the courthouse with a piece of paper reading, “This is what justice looks like 20 + 3 years.”
Allred, who represents several Weinstein accusers both in New York and Los Angeles, spoke after the sentencing, offering thanks and words of encouragement for other victims. “For all those who are still preying on women … thinking you’ll get away with it — that gamble is likely not to pay off for you anymore.”
The six women who testified against Weinstein — Tarale Wulff, Dawn Dunning, Lauren Young, Jessica Mann, Mimi Haleyi, and Annabella Sciorra — exited the courthouse together, to applause. Rosie Perez, who testified in support of Sciorra, held her hand and smiled; Young held Mann’s; and Wulff and Haleyi embraced. “When Judge Burke said ‘20,’ for the first time I can say I feel a sense of happiness, I guess,” Wulff, one of the survivors, said outside of the courthouse. “Because this isn’t a happy circumstance to be, but I feel joyous with what Judge Burke decided.”
Twenty-four of Weinstein’s accusers, including Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette, released a joint statement with Time’s Up as Silence Breakers. “Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist,” it reads. “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.”
Weinstein still faces charges in California. The Me Too movement’s work to unite victims of sexual misconduct continues. “Rosie Perez — who was sitting next to me in court, and who is being extremely supportive of her dear friend Annabella, and who gave extremely strong and courageous testimony — asked me to say that she feels this is for all sexual-assault victims,” Allred said. “And she feels their voices are now being heard.”
Additional reporting by Victoria Bekiempis.