Survivors of Harvey Weinstein are sleeping a little better tonight knowing their perpetrator is is all-but-likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Weinstein is appealing his rape and sexual assault conviction, but for these survivors, they feel justice has finally been served.
“Today, he will be sentenced. He cannot hurt anyone anymore,” Jane Doe #1, said at Weinstein’s sentencing on Feb. 23 at the criminal courthouse in Los Angeles.
“I truly believe that this verdict, and the maximum sentence, will restore the faith in the justice system for many survivors out there,” Jane Doe #1 told the judge.
Jane Doe #3’s attorneys, Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Genie Harrison, applauded her and the other survivors for coming forward against Weinstein.
“Society owes a debt of gratitude to the brave women who ended Weinstein’s reign of terror as one of the most prolific sexual abusers in history,” the attorneys said in a joint statement. “It is fitting that he will live out the reminder of his miserable life behind bars.”
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the most high-profile witness of the trial, said justice has been served with Weinstein’s sentencing, but cautioned the public not to ignore the larger issues of systemic abusers and enablers. “This entire process has been one of the hardest experiences of my life,” she said. “But the most important takeaway is that we all have a role to play in healing this culture in which violence against women is the norm.
Louisette Geiss testified during the trial as a corroborating witness of Newsom. “I am beyond grateful that Judge Lench sentenced Harvey Weinstein to enough years that will ensure he can never harm another woman again,” Geiss said.
“Having to testify was beyond challenging to myself and my family, but with this sentence, I know it all was for the greater good. It’s about time serial predators feel the wrath of the judicial system.”
Caitlin Dulany, who accused Weinstein in 2017 of assaulting her at the Cannes Film Festival in the 1990’s. Dulany has become a prominent activist for survivors, elected as a Los Angeles Local Board Member with SAG-AFTRA and serving on their sexual harassment prevention committee. “While there will always be a deep sadness and a heaviness in my heart because of the sexual assault I suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein more than 27 years ago, today I feel a sense of vindication,” Dulany says.
Fellow Silence Breaker, Caitlin Dulany, says the conviction is meaningful for the more than 100 woman who have publicly accused Weinstein – many of whom will never get their day in court, due to the statute of limitations among many other factors. Still a battle to be won.
“Knowing that Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the crimes he committed against me and others ensures that some measure of justice was served today,” Dulany says. “I stand with my fellow survivors who bravely came forward to tell the world about their experiences with Weinstein and then to relive those stories year after year, trial after trial to be a collective voice for all survivors, especially the voiceless. While any amount of time in prison could never make up for the trauma Weinstein caused each of his victims to suffer – a trauma we carry and will continue to carry with us every day of our lives – I have a sense of peace knowing that he will likely spend the remainder of his life in prison.”
Silence Breaker Jessica Barth, court witness to Weinstein’s sentencing with Dulany and Geiss, said the sentencing is “a win for all survivors of sexual violence.” Through her work with her nonprofit supporting survivors of sexual assault nationwide, she hopes the verdict and sentencing of Weinstein will impact how the justice system proceeds with and handles sex crimes cases, which are too often impossible to prosecute.
“Judge Lench’s decision should embolden the L.A. district attorney’s office to prosecute the multiple cases still under review by their office – many for several months, some for years,” Barth said. “Every victim of such heinous crimes deserves their voice to be heard.”