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Harvey Weinstein enters a Manhattan court house on Feb. 24. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday.

The backdrop: Weinstein was found guilty of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act last month and acquitted of predatory sexual assault.

  • Weinstein's lawyers had previously asked for a five-year sentence due to his health and age.
  • His sentencing comes five years after the Manhattan district attorney first declined to prosecute him when an Italian model said he groped her during a business meeting.

The big picture: The #MeToo movement — which galvanized support for alleged victims of sexual misconduct and caused at least 201 powerful men to lose jobs or major positions — gained traction after allegations against Weinstein came to light in 2017.

  • It took decades for Weinstein to face any accountability, and if not for the overwhelming number of accusers, it's hard to believe he would have faced criminal charges.
  • At least 90 women have accused Weinstein of misconduct, but the criminal charges he eventually faced in New York involved only two victims.

The bottom line: It wasn't the legal system that did the job and ended what was reportedly an open secret in Hollywood.

  • It was the result of accusers risking a great deal to come forward and powerful reporting by the NY Times and New Yorker, which stood by their reporters in printing the stories in the face of Weinstein's legal threats.

What's next: Weinstein still faces four felony charges of rape and sexual battery in Los Angeles. If convicted on all counts, he could get an additional prison sentence of up to 28 years.

Go deeper: Global #MeToo movement has resulted in 7 convictions, 4 charges of influential figures

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.