Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer discovered responsible of two felony intercourse crimes final yr, appealed his conviction on Monday, saying a number of ladies who had accused him of sexual assault ought to by no means have been allowed to testify.
Mr. Weinstein, 69, was sentenced to 23 years in jail in a case that relied closely on testimony from three ladies who spoke about Mr. Weinstein’s assaults in opposition to them at trial, although he was not charged for the habits they described.
Within the attraction, Mr. Weinstein’s legal professionals stated the ladies’s testimony led the jury to deal with the lengthy historical past of allegations in opposition to their shopper quite than on the precise costs that had introduced him into the courtroom.
“Merely put, the prosecution tried Weinstein’s character, not his conduct,” Mr. Weinstein’s legal professionals write within the attraction.
The long-expected attraction, filed in New York State Supreme Courtroom, marks the start of what’s prone to be a prolonged effort by Mr. Weinstein’s authorized crew to vary his destiny.
The allegations in opposition to Mr. Weinstein ignited the Me Too motion in 2017 after a number of ladies accused him of assault and harassment in an article in The New York Instances. That article and one in The New Yorker led to many others about Mr. Weinstein, and about sexual misconduct by highly effective males throughout a number of industries, bringing new scrutiny to habits that had lengthy been ignored.
Mr. Weinstein’s trial confirmed one thing additional: A court docket system that appeared at occasions to be ill-equipped to carry justice to the victims of intercourse crimes might convict a person who had been credibly accused by so many.
“That is no unusual authorized case — it was the break within the dam of many years of discrimination and unfairness,” Karen Dunn, a companion at Paul Weiss and an skilled trial lawyer. “It’s onerous to think about, significantly on the info of this case, a court docket eager to be seen as unwinding the hard-fought progress of the Me Too motion.”
Mr. Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by greater than 90 ladies. He faces further prison costs in Los Angeles stemming from two assaults that prosecutors there say passed off in 2013.
At his sentencing, after he was convicted of a first-degree prison sexual act and third-degree rape, Mr. Weinstein in contrast the motion to the Pink Scare of the Fifties and himself to a screenwriter who had been blacklisted and jailed.
One key to his prosecutors’ technique was establishing that he had engaged in a sample of predatory habits, echoing an strategy that was profitable within the trial of the actor and comic Invoice Cosby, who in 2018 was discovered responsible of sexual assault.
Along with arguing that the three ladies’s testimony had unfairly influenced the jury, Mr. Weinstein’s legal professionals stated within the almost 170-page attraction that there have been different causes to overturn the conviction.
They took subject with the admission of testimony from a fourth lady, the actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Mr. Weinstein had raped her within the early Nineties, proof that jurors used to find out whether or not he had dedicated acts of predatory sexual assault. Jurors discovered him not responsible of two counts of that crime.
Amongst their different arguments is that an autobiographical guide by one of many jurors in his trial signifies that she was biased in opposition to him and that knowledgeable testimony from a social psychologist that the protection had hoped to name was inappropriately barred.
Prosecutors will reply the arguments Mr. Weinstein’s legal professionals have produced of their attraction, and a choose will in the end decide whether or not they have advantage.
“We are going to reply in our transient to the court docket,” stated Danny Frost, a spokesman for the Manhattan district legal professional.
Even when the attraction is profitable, Mr. Weinstein is unlikely to be launched from jail anytime quickly.
A lot of Mr. Weinstein’s authorized maneuvering since he went on trial has failed. Within the midst of the case, his legal professionals argued that the choose was biased and tried to have him eliminated, solely to be rejected. After the jury discovered Mr. Weinstein responsible, considered one of his legal professionals requested that he be saved free on bail, partly due to his unwell well being. The request was not granted.
After being sentenced, Mr. Weinstein was hospitalized with chest pains and later examined optimistic for the coronavirus.