Weinstein defense team cites charitable work, asks for 5-year sentence

Harvey Weinstein’s defense team asked a judge on Monday to sentence him to five years in prison, the statutory minimum for two counts of rape and sexual assault.

In a seven-page sentencing memo, the defense recounted Weinstein’s charitable contributions and his support for social causes. They also argued that Weinstein has already received a harsh societal sanction.

“Mr. Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” the attorneys wrote.” Deserved or not, this is certainly a unique and extremely severe consequence that Mr. Weinstein had to endure, and in the age of social media and given his fame, virtually unrivaled when compared to any other defendant in the state of New York if not nationally.”

Justice James Burke is set to sentence Weinstein on Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. He could face up to 29 years in prison, though observers have said he is more likely to get 10-15 years.

On Friday, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi filed her own 11-page memorandum, in which she documented 36 additional uncharged allegations ranging from sexual assault to workplace harassment and bullying.

“These acts, viewed in the totality, establish that throughout his entire adult professional life, defendant has displayed a staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity,” Illuzzi wrote.

In the defense memo, attorneys Damon Cheronis, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala urged the judge to disregard the uncharged allegations. They argued that the allegations — which were not attributed by name — have not been proven, and many are irrelevant to the conduct Weinstein was convicted of.

The memo also cited Weinstein’s age and ill health, arguing that a lengthier sentence would be tantamount to a life term.

The defense also cited the “complicated” nature of the relationships Weinstein had with the two victims in the case, Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, and noted that Weinstein has been subjected to humiliation during the trial. The memo also made note of Weinstein’s young children, ages six and nine.

“His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles, are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of the jury’s verdict,” the lawyers wrote.

Weinstein is expected to appeal the verdict after the sentence is issued.

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