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New York court upholds Weinstein rape conviction

June 2, 2022

A New York appeals court rejected the film producer's arguments that the judge in his sex crimes trial was prejudiced against him. Assault allegations against Weinstein were a major catalyst for the #Metoo movement.

Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court with his attorneys
Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of rape, sexual assault and abuse over a period of decadesImage: TNS/ABACA/picture alliance

A New York appeals court on Thursday upheld Harvey Weinstein's sex crimes conviction. 

Weinstein had appealed his 2020 guilty verdicts and 23-year prison sentence for raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann and assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi. 

What did the court say?

"We reject [the] defendant's arguments, and affirm the conviction in all respects," the five-judge Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division said in its ruling.  

In his appeal, Weinstein's legal team claimed the trial judge made mistakes that denied him a fair jury. They said bias from the judge and the jurors and "lurid media coverage" should be reasons for a new trial. 

"We perceive no basis for reducing the sentence, and we have considered the defendant's remaining arguments and find them unavailing," Judge Angela Mazzarelli said in the ruling. 

Weinstein spokesperson Juda Engelmeyer said, "We are disappointed and sad for Mr. Weinstein." Engelmayer said the 70-year-old disgraced film mogul will now appeal the verdict to the highest court in the state of New York, the Court of Appeals.    

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg praised the ruling, saying prosecutors "were gratified by today's decision, which upholds a monumental conviction that changed the way prosecutors and courts approach complex prosecutions of sexual predators."

Weinstein is currently in California, where he will be tried on 11 charges that he assaulted five women between 2004 to 2013 in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the Los Angeles charges. 

Weinstein case key moment in #Metoo Movement 

The flood of sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein that emerged in 2017 is widely seen as the catalyst for the #Metoo movement. Victims of sexual assault and harassment began to speak out online about abuse both in the entertainment industry and elsewhere. 

Several other prominent figures accused of sexual misconduct following Weinstein include celebrity chef Mario Batali, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis CK and morning news host Matt Lauer. 

The #Metoo hashtag used by victims on Twitter to share their stories also spread beyond US borders, in countries such as Egypt, India, and France.  

wd/nm (AP, AFP, Reuters)