Michael Avenatti isn’t the only U.S. prisoner whose been having a lousy time of late.
In fact, it’s quite possible that Harvey Weinstein has been having an even worse time than Avenatti.
As soon as the jury found Weinstein guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 – and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013 – he was immediately remanded into custody, without bail, by the presiding judge, James M. Burke.
Rather than being taken directly to jail, however, Weinstein was taken to Bellevue Hospital when he started complaining about chest pains.
Most observers thought it was simply a ploy so that Weinstein could delay what will likely be a long period of incarceration.
But, as it turns out, Weinstein actually did have a heart blockage that was causing him significant pain – and also causing his blood pressure to be elevated to dangerously high levels.
And so it was that on Wednesday, March 4th, Weinstein underwent a heart procedure at Bellevue Hospital – and had a stent installed to remove the blockage.
And the very next day, Weinstein was loaded into an ambulance – and unceremoniously transferred to the North Infirmary Command at Rikers Island, which is where he is currently being held.
Records indicate that Weinstein is 5’11’ tall – and weighs 210 pounds. At least he did before he checked into Bellevue Hospital.
Jury Deliberated for Five Days
Unlike the jury in Keith Raniere’s case – which basically convicted him before they began what turned out to be about 4 hours of deliberations – Weinstein’s jury deliberated for 26 hours over 5 days before reaching unanimous verdicts in his case.
And unlike the jury in Raniere’s case, the Weinstein jury did not convict him on all the charges he was facing. Instead, it acquitted him on two counts of predatory sexual assault – and one count of rape in the first degree.
Had he been convicted on any of those counts, he would be facing up to a life sentence for each such conviction.
Two of Weinstein’s attorneys, Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis, have already indicated that they will be filing an appeal on his behalf.
They also said that there were “extremely troubling issues” with the way in which his trial was conducted.
Under New York law, a convicted defendant cannot file an appeal until after he is sentenced.
Weinstein – who will turn 68 on March 19th – had been scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday, March 11th. But his recent medical procedure may cause the sentencing to be pushed back.
Whenever he’s sentenced, he’ll be facing a minimum sentence of 5 years – and a maximum sentence of 29 years – for his New York convictions.
More Charges Await Weinstein in California
On the day before jury selection got underway in his New York trial, Weinstein was indicted on new charges in California.
The California charges include allegations of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint.
The first victim, an Italian model-actress who has only been identified as Jane Doe 1, alleges that she was raped by Weinstein while she was attending a film festival on February 17, 2013. According to Jane Doe 1’s claims, Weinstein knocked at her hotel room door shortly after she returned from the festival. After she let him inside, she claims that Weinstein overpowered her and raped her.
Jane Doe 2 claims that Weinstein trapped her in a bathroom of the hotel room where she was staying – and then took off his clothes and masturbated in front of her while grabbing her breasts.
If convicted of all counts in California, Weinstein would be facing up to 28 years in prison.
If he is convicted in California, it is very unlikely that the judge will have the new sentence run concurrently with the New York sentence.
Prosecutors Apparently Collaborated on Prosecutions
Based on public records, it appears that the prosecutors in New York and California closely collaborated with one another in their pursuit of Weinstein.
In fact, one of the alleged victims in California was actually called as a witness in the New York case – and allowed to testify about her experience with Mr. Weinstein even though she had nothing to do with the charges in that case.
The judge in the New York case allowed her testimony as part of the prosecution’s effort to show that Weinstein had “a pattern of behavior” of sexually abusing women.
He also allowed 24 other women who had no connection to the New York charges to provide similar “pattern of behavior” testimony.
And the timing of the California indictment could not have been worse for Weinstein.
On the day before jurors were going to be selected for his New York trial, the media was full of stories about the California charges.
These were on top of the numerous stories that had been written about the more than 80 women who had accused Weinstein of various sorts of sexual misconduct over the course of the past eighteen months.
Pre-Trial Ruling Badly Undercut Weinstein’s Defense in New York Case
On the same day that the California charges were announced, the judge in the New York case also dealt a major blow to Weinstein’s defense team when he ruled that they could not call New York City Detective Nicholas DiGaudio as a witness.
DiGaudio’s handling of evidence in the case became an issue in October 2018 when one of the charges in the indictment related to former actress Lucia Evans was thrown out by Justice Burke.
Evans had accused Mr. Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him during a business meeting.
But she had also told a close friend that she had willingly agreed to the sex act after Weinstein promised to give her various acting jobs in return – and that friend subsequently relayed the story.
Prosecutors claimed that Detective DiGaudio never told them about the second version of the story.
And rather than hearing what DiGaudio had to say about the matter, Justice Burke simply dismissed the charge that involved Weinstein’s alleged mistreatment of her.
Weinstein Will Likely Die in Prison
Given his age – and his health – it is quite likely that Weinstein will die in prison.
To begin with, he’ll likely get sentenced to at least 10-15 years in the New York case.
And assuming that he gets convicted in California – which seems very likely if only because of his notoriety and the general public’s awareness of his New York conviction – he’ll probably be facing at least another 10-15 year sentence there.
Thus far, 2020 has not been a great year for Harvey Weinstein.
And his future looks even worse…