Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, a model who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in 2015, said that she was “ecstatic” that the disgraced movie mogul was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday for rape and sexual assault. “It’s a great result. I feel so relieved. Harvey had all the power to destroy people and stop people speaking up and now that power is gone,” Battilana Gutierrez told The Daily Beast. The model recorded Weinstein admitting to groping her on tape in 2015 as part of a New York Police Department sting operation, however Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance decided at the time not to prosecute him. “We need to put that power back in the hands of survivors. I was able to change my past so I can move forward with my future and I want that for other survivors,” Battilana Gutierrez added. Weinstein, who has been accused by more than 80 women of sexual misconduct, was convicted last month on charges of first-degree criminal sex act and third-degree rape.
Another Weinstein accuser, Melissa Thompson, told The Daily Beast that his sentence “sends a strong message to perpetrators in positions of power,” adding, “that influence, philanthropy, riches and power do not buy the right to perpetrate sexual crimes.” Thompson accused Weinstein of raping her in 2011 at his film studio’s offices in Manhattan and later released a video in 2018 that showed the former producer inappropriately touching her and making sexual remarks. “For the first time in his life, Harvey Weinstein could not flip the script or escape his wrongdoings. He could not dictate the result of this plot and he was unable to buy his desired fate,” Thompson said. “The harm Harvey Weinstein caused me as a victim will forever be etched in my soul—after he raped me I was never the same. His 23-year prison sentence gives me some peace and room to heal.”