Harvey Weinstein's 2020 rape conviction overturned on appeal

Harvey Weinstein's 2020 conviction has been overturned credit:Bang Showbiz
Harvey Weinstein's 2020 conviction has been overturned credit:Bang Showbiz

Harvey Weinstein's 2020 rape conviction has been overturned.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday (25.04.24) with a majority 4-3 vote that the disgraced movie mogul did not receive a fair trial after they found prosecutors were allowed to call witnesses whose accusations were not the focus of the case.

As a result, the ruling declared Weinstein - who will remain in prison for a separate 2022 rape conviction - had been tried on his past behaviour, not solely the crimes he had been charged with.

They stated Justice James Burke, the judge in charge of the 2020 trial “erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes.”

The ruling added: “The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial."

The 72-year-old producer had been serving a 23-year sentence after being convicted on charges of criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 alongside rape in the third degree for an attack on an actress in 2013.

He was also sentenced to 16 years in jail following his 2022 Los Angeles conviction, but at the same time was acquitted on charges involving one of the women who had testified at the 2020 New York trial.

A lower appelate court had denied the appeal in 2022, but the state's highest court agreed to hear the case and in February, Weinstein's legal team, led by Arthur Aidala argued allowing three women to testify they had been sexually assaulted by the producer stacked the case against him.

The trio had told the court the movie mogul attacked them whent hey arrived for a business meeting, and were called to establish a common pattern, but Weinstein's defence argued the effect of their testimony was simply to attack his character.

Mr Aidala argued in February: “This is major prejudice. It’s saying, ‘He’s a bad guy. He’s a bad guy. He’s a bad guy.’”