Harvey Weinstein transferred to maximum-security New York state prison

The disgraced movie mogul and convicted rapist has begun a 23-year sentence. He is still facing additional charges in California.
Image: Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse during jury deliberations in his rape trial on Feb. 24, 2020, in New York.John Minchillo / AP file

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By Ben Kesslen and Adam Reiss

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul and convicted rapist, was transferred to a maximum-security state prison in New York on Wednesday.

Weinstein was moved to Wende Correctional Facility a day before his 68th birthday. The prison is in the town of Alden in Erie County, about 20 miles east of Buffalo in the far northwestern corner of the state not far from the Canadian border.

Weinstein was sentenced last week to 23 years in state prison in a landmark #MeToo case after being found guilty of third-degree rape and criminal sexual act in the first degree.

The former film industry titan had denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex and pleaded not guilty in the New York case. His lawyers have said they will appeal the conviction.

But Weinstein is now identified as inmate 20B0584 in a facility whose approximately 950 prisoners include Mark David Chapman and David Sweat. Chapman murdered John Lennon, and Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in 2015. He was caught more than three weeks later after an intense manhunt.

Weinstein is expected to remain at Wende during a classification process that will determine his medical and other needs while corrections officials decide if he stays or transfers to another maximum-security prison. He is eligible for parole in 2039.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital while at Rikers Island jail in New York City over concerns about high blood pressure and heart palpitations. He was seen in the courthouse using a walker to get around.

He returned to the hospital after his March 11 sentencing, according to his publicist Juda Engelmayer. Staff at Rikers decided to take him back to the hospital as a precaution after Weinstein said he was having chest pains.

Weinstein also still faces charges in California. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced in January it was charging him with sexually assaulting two women on two consecutive days in 2013.

In the Los Angeles case, Weinstein is charged with forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of restraint and sexual battery by restraint and faces up to 28 years in prison.

In New York, in addition to the convictions, the jury found him not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a sentence of up to life in prison. He was also acquitted on a count of first-degree rape.

CORRECTION (March 19, 2020, 11:22 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misstated one of the counts for which Harvey Weinstein was convicted. In addition to third-degree rape, he was convicted of criminal sexual act in the first degree, not first-degree sexual assault. He was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault.