Harvey Weinstein's rape conviction in 2020 #MeToo case overturned by New York court

Former Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein's 2020 rape conviction has been overturned by a New York appeals court.

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Harvey Weinstein


On Thursday, New York’s highest court overturned former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction on felony sex crime charges, a stunning reversal in the foundational case of the #MeToo era. As New York Times reported, in a 4-3 decision, the New York Court of Appeals found that the trial judge who presided over Mr. Weinstein’s case had made a crucial mistake. 

The report stated that New York’s highest court found the judge shown prejudice by allowing women to testify about allegations that were not part of the case, which allowed prosecutors to call as witnesses a series of women who said Mr. Weinstein had assaulted them, but whose accusations were not part of the charges against him.

Mentioning that decision is identified as errors, the appeals court determined that Weinstein had not received a fair trial. The four judges in the majority wrote that Mr. Weinstein was not tried solely on the crimes he was charged with, but instead for much of his past behavior. Harvey who as a movie producer had been considered one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. As per the report, now it will be up to the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg to decide whether to seek a retrial of Mr. Weinstein.

The portal quoted Judge Jenny Rivera, who wrote on behalf of the majority, "It is an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior that destroys a defendant’s character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges."

The correspondent of the portal also reached out to Harvey's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, and she was quoted that this is not just a victory for Mr. Weinstein but for every criminal defendant in the state of New York. "We compliment the Court of Appeals for upholding the most basic principles that a criminal defendant should have in a trial,” Arthur said. It was not immediately clear on Thursday morning how the decision would affect 71 years old Weinstein, who is being held in an upstate prison in Rome, N.Y.

For the unversed, Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence in New York, after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in that jurisdiction in his 2020 criminal trial, reported Variety. All three charges on which Weinstein was convicted were based on the counts relating to Jane Doe, a European model who testified she was raped by Weinstein at Mr C Hotel after the L.A. Italia Film Festival in 2013, reported Variety. 

Weinstein has been accused by more than 100 women who have publicly come forward with allegations of sexual assault, abuse and harassment that have spanned decades. His monumental fall was triggered by #MeToo in 2017, and the story of his survivors coming forward even inspired a major studio film, "She Said," which was released in theatres in 2022. 

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