Harvey Weinstein to Appear in Court after Rape Conviction Overturn

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein is expected back in a New York court on Wednesday, days after his state rape conviction was overturned.

Manhattan prosecutors have indicated they plan to retry his case after an appeals court ruled last week he did not receive a fair trial in 2020.

The 72-year-old was admitted to a hospital in the city two days after his conviction was quashed.

He remains jailed because of a separate rape conviction in California.

Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison in that case.

Last week, the New York state appealed court ruled that the judge overseeing the former Hollywood mogul’s case had erred when he allowed the testimony of women who made allegations about Weinstein for which he was never charged.

The judge had “erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes”, the appeals court ruled by a vote of 4 to 3. The decision also said the trial judge compounded the error by letting Weinstein be cross-examined in a way that portrayed him in a “highly prejudicial” light.

“The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial,” the court found.

In a statement on Friday, the Manhattan prosecutor’s office vowed to work towards a second conviction, although it did not provide any timeline.

“We will do everything in our power to retry this case, and remain steadfast in our commitment to survivors of sexual assault,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

Arthur Aidala, the movie mogul’s lawyer, hailed the decision as a “victory for every criminal defendant in the state of New York”.

The topic of the hearing on Wednesday is unclear. Aidala said discussions would focus on matters including evidence and scheduling.

One top issue is expected to be where Weinstein will remain. He had been staying in a prison in upstate New York but was moved to the city after his conviction was quashed.

He was taken to hospital for what his lawyer described as “immediate medical attention” and “a myriad of tests”.

Weinstein could be sent to the city’s Rikers Island prison, or possibly to California to serve time there.

At his New York trial in 2020, Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, in 2013. He was jailed for 23 years.

Ms Haleyi has said she has reservations about returning to court again to attempt to re-convict Weinstein.

“It was retraumatising and grueling and exhausting and all the things,” she said at a news conference on Friday.

“I definitely don’t want to actually go through that again. But for the sake of keeping going and doing the right thing and because it is what happened, I would consider it.”

Prosecutors in California say Weinstein’s conviction for raping a woman in 2013 will stand up to any appeals challenge.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct, assault and rape by over 100 women.

The decision by his accusers to come forward, and his subsequent conviction in New York and 23-year prison term galvanised the #MeToo movement against sex abuse by powerful men.

Weinstein has always maintained his innocence and his defence team said at the time of the New York trial that sex between the movie executive and accusers was consensual.

Weinstein co-founded the Miramax film studio, whose hits included Shakespeare in Love, which won best picture at the Academy Awards, and Pulp Fiction.

His films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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