Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction has been overturned in NY appeals court

The controversial studio producer has won the appeal for his 2020 ruling after recently being sentenced to an additional 16 years in prison.

harvey weinstein

In a stunning development of news, the ruling of former Miramax studio head, Harvey Weinstein, has been overturned by the New York State Court of Appeals in his rape charges conviction back in 2020. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the court had a 4-3 ruling that claimed that “the judge in the New York County trial prejudiced Weinstein with improper rulings, including allowing women to testify about allegations that were not part of the case.” The court, which is the highest court in the state’s judicial system, has now decided that a new trial must take place.

Judge Jenny Rivera stated in her ruling that “Under our system of justice, the accused has a right to be held to account only for the crime charged and, thus, allegations of prior bad acts may not be admitted against them for the sole purpose of establishing their propensity for criminality. Nor may the prosecution use ‘prior convictions or proof of the prior commission of specific, criminal, vicious or immoral acts’ other than to impeach the accused’s credibility. It is our solemn duty to diligently guard these rights regardless of the crime charged, the reputation of the accused or the pressure to convict.”

Judge Rivera continued, “Defendant was convicted by a jury for various sexual crimes against three named complainants and, on appeal, claims that he was judged, not on the conduct for which he was indicted, but on irrelevant, prejudicial and untested allegations of prior bad acts. 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 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. The synergistic effect of these errors was not harmless.”

Back in February of 2020, Judge James Burke oversaw the trial where Weinstein was found guilty on the charge of criminal sexual assault in the first degree, based on the testimony of Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haley, and rape in the third degree, based on the testimony of an aspiring actress named Jessica Mann. However, he would be acquitted of three other charges, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala celebrated the new ruling, saying, “We all worked very hard and this is a tremendous victory for every criminal defendant in the state of New York.”

Source: THR

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.