Harvey Weinstein, appeal, appellate court, sexual assault, overturned

Harvey Weinstein Conviction Overturned By Appeals Court, New Trial Ordered

Harvey Weinstein's New York sex crimes conviction has been overturned.

Harvey Weinstein is joining Bill Cosby in having his high-profile sex crimes case overturned by the appeals court.

On Thursday, April 25, the New York Court of Appeals ruled to overturn Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction and order a new trial, CNN reports. In a 4-3 vote, the court ruled the judge showed prejudice by allowing the testimony of “prior bad acts” from women who shared accounts that had nothing to do with the case.

“We conclude that the trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes because that testimony served no material non-propensity purpose,” the court said in the decision.

“The court compounded that error when it ruled that defendant, who had no criminal history, could be cross examined about those allegations as well as numerous allegations of misconduct that portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light.”

As a result, Weinstein, 72, will receive a new trial with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office sharing plans to retry the case. The ruling comes over six years after the film mogul was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

He remains held at Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, New York, where he is still serving out his sentence of 16 years in prison for rape and sexual assault charges from a trial in Los Angeles. Weinstein has maintained his innocence and denies having any nonconsensual sex with his alleged victims.

The Miramax founder saw a drastic fall from grace following a 2017 report that unearthed his alleged history of sexual abuse, harassment, and secret settlements where he used his influence as a Hollywood honcho to allegedly take advantage of women.

“We are cautiously excited and need to study the ramifications of the appeal decision,” Weinstein’s spokesperson Juda Engelmayer said. “We always said this was an unjust trial.”

The reversal of Weinstein’s case echoes Cosby’s overturned rape conviction in 2021, which originated from his 2018 conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. The Pennsylvania appeals court nullified the conviction, citing violations of Cosby’s due process rights.

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