Harvey Weinstein’s New York Conviction Overturned by Appeals Court 4 Years Later

The New York Court of Appeals has overturned the disgraced producer's 2020 conviction after issues were found with witnesses that the trial judge allowed to be called.

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Harvey Weinstein’s conviction for felony sex crimes in 2020 was overturned on Thursday, April 25. The New York Court of Appeals ruled to overturn the conviction in a 4-3 decision according to The New York TimesManhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will determine if the former producer, 72, is given a retrial following the decision.

The appeals court ruled that Weinstein was not given a fair trial. The four judges in the majority ruled it a mistake for the judge overseeing Weinstein’s New York trial to allow the prosecutor to call witnesses who had said that Weinstein had assaulted them. Their allegations were not being charged against the producer though, which led to the decision to overturn it. The other that was found was allowing prosecutors to question the producer about allegations that he was not charged with, if he decided to testify.

Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala told The New York Times that the ruling was “not just a victory for Mr. Weinstein, but for every criminal defendant in the state of New York, and we compliment the Court of Appeals for upholding the most basic principles that a criminal defendant should have in a trial.”

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Following the appeal, Douglas H. Wigdor, who represented 8 of Weinstein’s victims, including two who testified in the New York trial, released a statement. “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,” he said.

It’s unclear what the appeals verdict will mean for Weinstein going forward, but it does not seem likely that he will be released from prison. He’s currently serving his sentence at a prison in Rome, NY, but he was also convicted of raping a woman in California and sentenced to 16 years in 2023.

Weinstein was found guilty in his New York trial in February 2020. Following his conviction, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison, and he was required to register as a sex offender. Two years later, Weinstein was found guilty on charges of rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration of an Italian model, known as Jane Doe #1. In that trial, he was also acquitted of one charge of felony sexual battery of a massage therapist, known as Jane Doe #3. Jurors were split on one count of sexual battery by restraint, one count of forcible oral copulation, and one count of rape brought against him by Lauren Young and by Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Those were ruled a mistrial.