Harvey Weinstein wanted to be placed in medical unit

Harvey Weinstein's lawyers made a bid for him to serve his 23-year prison sentence in a medical unit near New York City.

Legal representatives for the 67-year-old movie mogul - who was sentenced on Wednesday (11.03.20) after previously being found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act - had filed sealed court papers appealing to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke to recommend their client be sent to the Regional Medical Unit at either the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon or the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, prison consultant Craig Rothfeld told the New York Post.

However, the judge declined to act on the request, leaving the decision to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Jennifer Scaife, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, explained prison medical units are typically reserved for inmates who are recovering from surgery or near the end of their lives and claimed if Weinstein got a place, it would be due to his "wealth and influence".

She said: "If he's able to get placed directly into a regional unit, it will be frankly because of his wealth and influence.

"I've seen sicker people in average prison cells. There are people with grave illnesses in general population."

The producer was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in New York on Wednesday, just hours after his sentencing, after experiencing chest pain.

His spokesperson explained that, as well as receiving treatment for his heart, he will also be evaluated for "a complication related to his back surgery."

He added: "We are incredibly appreciative of the level of care and attention the NYC Dept. of Corrections is showing regarding Mr. Weinstein's medical condition."

This isn't the first time Weinstein has been taken to Bellevue Hospital with chest pain as shortly after he was found guilty on February 24, he was rushed there for treatment.

On March 4 he underwent an angioplasty procedure - in which a tiny catheter is inserted into a vessel to help improve blood flow to the heart - and was transferred to Rikers Island last week and held in the North Infirmary Command ahead of his sentencing.

Weinstein's legal team had also asked for a sentence of less than five years, claiming he may die in jail.

He is unlikely to be eligible for parole until at least 2039.