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Business News/ News / World/  ‘Judge was prejudiced’: Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction overturned by New York court
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‘Judge was prejudiced’: Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction overturned by New York court

Harvey Weinstein, 72, has been serving a 23-year sentence in a New York prison following his conviction on charges of criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 and rape in the third degree for an attack on an aspiring actress in 2013.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse for jury deliberations in his rape trial, on February 24, 2020, in New York. Nearly four years after Weinstein was convicted of rape and sent to prison, New York’s highest court upturned the rape conviction on April 25 from the landmark #MeToo-era verdict. (AP)Premium
Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse for jury deliberations in his rape trial, on February 24, 2020, in New York. Nearly four years after Weinstein was convicted of rape and sent to prison, New York’s highest court upturned the rape conviction on April 25 from the landmark #MeToo-era verdict. (AP)

Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood producer, had his 2020 rape conviction from the #MeToo trial overturned by a New York appeals court on Thursday, April 25. The court found that the judge was biased in their verdict against the movie mogul. Moreover, the court flagged allowing women to testify about allegations against Weinstein that were not part of the 2020 rape case.

Harvey Weinstein has been serving a 23-year sentence in a New York prison following his conviction on charges of criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 and rape in the third degree for an attack on an aspiring actress in 2013.

The New York Court of Appeals' verdict of overturning the rape case conviction of Harvey Weinstein opens up a painful chapter in America’s reckoning with sexual misconduct by influential figures.

In a ruling from the New York court, a retrial was ordered, potentially subjecting the accusers to relive their traumatic experiences once more on the witness stand.

This decision comes years after they catalysed the #MeToo movement with a ground-breaking wave of sexual harassment allegations against the media mogul.

However, Harvey Weinstein will remain imprisoned because he was convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Weinstein was acquitted in Los Angeles on charges involving one of the women who testified in New York.

Weinstein’s lawyers argued that Judge James Burke’s rulings in favour of the prosecution turned the trial into “1-800-GET-HARVEY."

The reversal of Weinstein’s conviction is the second major #MeToo setback in the last two years after the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a Pennsylvania court decision to throw out Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction.

Weinstein’s conviction stood for more than four years, heralded by activists and advocates as a milestone achievement, but dissected just as quickly by his lawyers and, later, the Court of Appeals when it heard arguments on the matter in February.

Harvey Weinstein 2020 Rape Case

Allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the once powerful and feared studio boss behind Oscar winners such as “Pulp Fiction" and “Shakespeare in Love," ushered in the #MeToo movement. 

Dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein, including famous actresses such as Ashley Judd and Uma Thurman. His New York trial drew intense publicity, with protesters chanting “rapist" outside the courthouse.

Weinstein is incarcerated in New York at the Mohawk Correctional Facility, northwest of Albany.

He maintains his innocence. He contends any sexual activity was consensual.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sayantani
Sayantani is a Chief Content Producer with Livemint. Her interests are politics, war, and conflict. Off-duty, she explores cultural history and the 'Pedagogy of the Oppressed'
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 25 Apr 2024, 06:46 PM IST
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