Weinstein dodges sentencing enhancement, faces 18 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein faces a shorter prison sentence in California after a Los Angeles jury failed to reach a verdict on whether the disgraced mogul planned his attack on a woman he was convicted of raping.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench declared a mistrial on the issue Tuesday after the panel reported it could not agree on special allegations that Weinstein planned his assault on a model-actor in 2013, and whether she was “particularly vulnerable.”

If the jury had found that either circumstance applied, Weinstein would have faced an enhanced maximum term of 24 years when he is sentenced next year. Tuesday’s development means Weinstein, who was convicted of rape and sexual assault charges a day earlier, will face up to 18 years in prison.

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York in 2020. He is appealing that sentence, as he will likely do with the California verdict.

Weinstein was charged with raping or sexually assaulting four women, but after a monthlong trial, was only convicted of charges based on one woman’s allegations. Jurors acquitted Weinstein of charges based on another woman’s account, and were unable to reach a verdict on two other women’s allegations.

The panel was brought back Tuesday to hear arguments on the special circumstances allegation. Lench will hold a hearing Jan. 9 to determine the next steps in the case.

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