Prosecutors say Harvey Weinstein deserves a harsh sentence

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein deserves a harsh sentence for having “trapped women into his exclusive control” so he could sexually assault them in a cycle of abuse going back to the 1970s, prosecutors told a judge in a filing on Friday.

With the disgraced former movie mogul facing sentencing next week for his conviction on rape and sexual assault charges, prosecutors detailed a litany of allegations starting with a claim by a woman that she woke up in the middle of the night in a Buffalo, New York, hotel room in 1978 to find Weinstein on top of her and “forcing himself sexually on her.”

Prosecutors said that encounter fit a pattern that continued for decades: Weinstein getting young women alone in hotel rooms and other settings before sexually attacking them, often while trying to trick them into thinking it was a path to stardom.

Based on “a lifetime of abuse toward others, sexual and otherwise,” prosecutors said they are seeking a sentence that “reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s offenses” and punishes him for “his total lack of remorse for the harm he has done.”

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One of Weinstein’s lawyers, Arthur Aidala, declined comment on Friday. He said the defense would file a response on Monday.

The letter comes in advance of Weinstein’s sentencing on Wednesday for his conviction last month on one count of criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006 and one count of third-degree rape for a 2013 attack on another woman. His lawyers had contended at trial that any sexual contact was consensual.

On the criminal sex act count, Weinstein faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 25 years in prison, while the third-degree rape count carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison. The judge could have the sentences run concurrently.

The 67-year-old Weinstein was moved Thursday to an infirmary unit at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex after undergoing a heart procedure at the hospital where he’d been held since his conviction last month.

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