Harvey Weinstein scheduled to appear in court after sex crimes conviction overturned

Written by on May 1, 2024

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California, on 04 October 2022. (Etienne Laurent/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Harvey Weinstein is scheduled to appear in court in Manhattan on Wednesday for the first time since New York’s highest court overturned his sex crimes conviction.

He is scheduled to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court in the first step toward a possible retrial after the New York Court of Appeals overturned his conviction on sex crimes against three women.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said it intends to retry Weinstein if the complaining witnesses are willing to participate in another trial.

“At the Manhattan D.A.’s Office, our Special Victims Division fights each and every day to center survivors, uplift their voices, and seek justice for these horrific crimes,” a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement last week. “Our mission is to center survivors’ experiences and wellbeing in every decision we make, which we will do as we approach the next steps in this case.”

Weinstein, 72, was transferred to Rikers Island and then the New York City jail medical unit at Bellevue Hospital Center late last week ahead of the court appearance, his spokesperson said.

“We are cautiously optimistic and are prepared to go to trial, if it comes to that,” his spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, said in a statement on Saturday. “There are fewer charges now and the deck isn’t going to be illegally stacked against him. While we all enjoy the same rights when it comes to our justice system, a defendant has an additional right to due process. We are glad the Appeals Court judges saw it that way.”

The initial trial and conviction followed an explosive New York Times article in October 2017 that reported Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women who accused him of sexual misconduct over decades. The story sparked an avalanche of accusations from women who came forward with similar accounts and largely kicked off the #MeToo movement, targeting prominent celebrities for sexual misconduct.

Weinstein was arrested on May 25, 2018, and charged with first- and third-degree rape for one victim, and first-degree criminal sex act for another woman.

Prosecutors said the movie producer abused his power to take advantage of aspiring female actors, like the alleged victims, to coerce them into unwanted sexual encounters. According to the prosecution, the quid pro quo of assisting them with their careers in exchange for sexual favors on demand was both common behavior and a well-known secret throughout the film industry.

He was found guilty in February 2020 of two felonies — criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape — but acquitted of the two most serious charges — predatory sexual assault. He was also acquitted of first-degree rape.

The New York Court of Appeals overturned Weinstein’s conviction on Thursday in a scathing 4-3 opinion, writing that they found the trial judge “erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes.”

The court said that testimony “served no material non-propensity purpose” and “portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light.”

Weinstein was also convicted of sex offenses in Los Angeles in 2022 and sentenced to 16 years in prison there.

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