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New York Appeals Court Overturns Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 Rape Conviction

Harvey Weinstein‘s rape conviction from 2020 has been overturned.

The New York State Court of Appeals made the decision on Thursday, April 25, on the basis that the judge on the trial prejudiced Weinstein, 72, with “egregious” improper rulings, including a decision to let women testify about allegations that weren’t part of the case.

“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,” the court’s decision stated, according to the Associated Press. “The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial.”

The court’s majority claimed there was “an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior that destroys a defendant’s character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges lodged against them.”

Jeremy Piven, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Sexual Misconduct, Hollywood, Sexual Harassment

Related: Hollywood's Sexual Misconduct Scandals

Judge Madeline Singas, stated that the majority was “whitewashing the facts to conform to a he-said/she-said narrative.” She also said the Court of Appeals was continuing a “disturbing trend of overturning juries’ guilty verdicts in cases involving sexual violence.”

New York Appeals Court Overturns Harvey Weinstein's 2020 Rape Conviction
Harvey Weinstein Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney Douglas H. Wigdor, who represented eight of Weinstein’s victims, released a statement to Us Weekly, which read, “Today’s decision is a major step back in holding those accountable for acts of sexual violence. Courts routinely admit evidence of other uncharged acts where they assist juries in understanding issues concerning the intent, modus operandi or scheme of the defendant. The jury was instructed on the relevance of this testimony and overturning the verdict is tragic in that it will require the victims to endure yet another trial.”

The disgraced movie producer movie producer is currently serving a 23-year sentence in a New York prison after being convicted on charges of criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006 and rape in the third degree for an incident with Jessica Mann in 2013. Weinstein was acquitted on a predatory sexual assault count, which could have resulted in a life sentence.

Weinstein did not testify during the trial, but pleaded not guilty. He has continued to maintain his innocence on the grounds that the encounters were consensual.

New York Appeals Court Overturns Harvey Weinstein's 2020 Rape Conviction
Harvey Weinstein Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Despite Thursday’s legal update, Weinstein will remain imprisoned because he was convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 on other rape charges and sentenced to 16 years in prison. (He was acquitted in Los Angeles on charges involving one of the women who testified in New York.)

“I maintain that I’m innocent,” he said in February 2023. “I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe #1. I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn’t know me. This is about money.”

Weinstein’s accuser testified that she “wanted to die” after her alleged encounter with him. “It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight,” a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 1 told the court. “I remember how he was looking in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him. I wish this never happened to me.”


Related: Sharing Their Stories: Stars Who Survived Abuse

Several, women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct in 2017 as part of the #MeToo Movement. In the wake of the scandal, Georgina Chapman ended her marriage to Weinstein after nearly 10 years. (The former couple share daughter India, 13, and son Dashiell, 10. Weinstein is also the father of daughters Lily, 29, Emma, 26, and Ruth, 21, with his first wife, Eve Chilton.)

“It was difficult because the first article was about a time long before I’d ever met him, so there was a minute where I couldn’t make an informed decision. And then the stories expanded and I realized that this wasn’t an isolated incident,” Chapman, who is currently dating Adrien Brody, told Vogue in May 2018. “And I knew that I needed to step away and take the kids out of here.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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