Harvey Weinstein 2020 rape conviction overturned by New York's highest court

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Appeals tribunal overturns Harvey Weinstein's verdict

New York's highest tribunal overturns Harvey Weinstein verdict 02:06

Harvey Weinstein's 2020 conviction connected rape charges has been overturned by nan State of New York Court of Appeals, which ordered a caller trial. Weinstein will stay down bars since he was convicted successful a abstracted lawsuit successful California.

In nan 2020 trial, Weinstein, now 72, was found blameworthy of rape successful nan 3rd grade for sexually assaulting an character successful 2013 and of committing a criminal activity enactment by forcing oral activity connected a erstwhile accumulation adjunct successful 2006. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years successful prison. 

The tribunal recovered that nan judge who presided complete nan disgraced movie mogul's lawsuit had made a correction by allowing prosecutors to telephone witnesses whose accusations were not portion of nan charges against him, according to nan 4-3 decision. The text of nan decision was released Thursday morning. 

The determination to person women who were not portion of nan charges against Weinstein attest was made "erroneously" by nan little court, nan appeals tribunal said. The correction was "compounded" erstwhile nan little tribunal ruled that Weinstein could beryllium cross-examined astir those allegations. The appeals tribunal said these decisions diminished Weinstein's characteristic earlier a jury.

Because prosecutors whitethorn not usage "prior convictions aliases impervious of nan anterior committee of specific, criminal, vicious aliases obscene acts" to found a person's criminality, nan determination to person alleged victims whose claims were not portion of nan charges against Weinstein meant that he was judged "on irrelevant, prejudicial, and untested allegations of anterior bad acts," according to nan appeals court. 

"We knew Harvey Weinstein did not get a adjacent trial," said Weinstein's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, successful a news convention connected Thursday afternoon. "There are immoderate group who are unpopular successful nine but we still person to use nan rule fairly."

Manhattan prosecutors said they intend to retry Weinstein. 

"We will do everything successful our powerfulness to retry this case, and stay patient successful our committedness to survivors of intersexual assault," a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said conscionable minutes aft nan appeals tribunal determination was announced. Bragg was not successful agency during Weinstein's prosecution successful nan case. 

Lawyer Douglas H. Wigdor, who has represented 8 Weinstein accusers, including 2 of nan witnesses successful nan New York trial, called Thursday's determination a "major measurement backmost successful holding those accountable for acts of intersexual violence."

"Courts routinely admit grounds of different uncharged acts wherever they assistance juries successful knowing issues concerning nan intent, modus operandi aliases strategy of nan defendant," Wigdor said. "The assemblage was instructed connected nan relevance of this grounds and overturning nan verdict is tragic successful that it will require nan victims to strengthen yet different trial." 

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented Miriam Haley, nan female who Weinstein was recovered blameworthy of committing a criminal activity enactment against, said that her customer would see testifying again if prosecutors decided to effort Weinstein's lawsuit again, contempt nan process being "grueling and retraumatizing." 

"I commend Mimi connected her courageousness and willingness to support opinionated up for nan truth," Allred said, earlier criticizing nan appeals court's ruling. "The determination of nan New York Court of Appeals coming is simply a important measurement backwards for nan 'Me Too' activity successful criminal cases successful New York. The determination intends that it will beryllium much difficult to convict those who victimize women and prey connected them. As a result, less prosecutions will beryllium brought against intersexual predators and galore will flight nan justness that they deserve." 

"Although victims person mislaid this conflict they person not mislaid nan war," Allred said. "We will proceed to conflict for justness for victims some successful criminal and civilian cases until location is simply a adjacent proceedings not conscionable for nan accused but besides for those who allege that they are victims of intersexual predators."

The proceedings came aft media reports began to aboveground successful precocious 2017 of misconduct accusations against Weinstein, and dozens of women came guardant and accused him of intersexual assault. The ungraded was a awesome spark for nan #MeToo movement. 

In a abstracted proceedings successful Los Angeles, jurors recovered Weinstein blameworthy of 1 count of rape and 2 counts of intersexual battle against an Italian exemplary and actor during a 2013 movie festival. He has been sentenced to 16 years successful situation for those charges, which he was expected to service aft his New York sentence.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said successful a connection it was "saddened" by nan New York appeals court's determination but noted, "The ineligible issues identified by nan New York Court of Appeal are not coming successful nan Los Angeles County case."

"Unlike New York law, California rule (Evidence Code conception 1108) permits nan admissibility of propensity grounds successful intersexual battle cases taxable to nan judge's discretion," nan agency said. "Consistent pinch this law, our agency sought nan admittance of propensity grounds of Mr. Weinstein's intersexual assaults successful different jurisdictions."

Weinstein has revenge a announcement of entreaty successful nan Los Angeles lawsuit but has not revenge an opening brief, truthful nan territory lawyer could not remark connected immoderate circumstantial issues nan defense squad intends to raise. The agency said, however, that it was "confident" nan condemnation would clasp up nether appeal.

Weinstein accuser connected disgraced media mogul's Los Angeles rape conviction 05:56

"Harvey Weinstein is simply a stone-cold predator. He's a rapist, doubly convicted. Not once, twice," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday erstwhile asked astir nan New York ruling, CBS Sacramento reported.

"He should ne'er spot nan ray of day. Period, afloat stop," Newsom said.

California Gov. Newsom comments connected Harvey Weinstein 01:04

Two charges of indecent battle against Weinstein person besides been authorized in nan United Kingdom

In January 2024, a woman revenge a suit accusing Weinstein and Madison Square Garden Entertainment CEO James Dolan of intersexual assault. Dolan was besides accused of trafficking. Both men person denied nan allegations.

#MeToo activity advocates and those who person spoken retired astir maltreatment from Weinstein earlier gathered for a news convention connected Wednesday afternoon. Actor Ashley Judd, who antecedently alleged that Weinstein pressured her to springiness him massages and watch him ablution erstwhile she visited his edifice room for what she thought was a meal gathering while moving connected nan movie "Kiss nan Girl," called nan overturning of his condemnation an "institutional betrayal." 

Mira Sorvino, who besides antecedently made allegations against Weinstein, said connected societal media that she was "horrified" by nan determination and "disgusted" astatine nan justness system. 

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Kerry Breen

Kerry Breen is simply a newsman and news editor astatine CBSNews.com. A postgraduate of New York University's Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism, she antecedently worked astatine NBC News' TODAY Digital. She covers existent events, breaking news and issues including constituent use.