Harvey Weinstein Appeals Rape Conviction in California


Film producer Harvey Weinstein is appealing his rape conviction in Los Angeles, with his lawyers arguing he did not receive a fair trial.

Weinstein was tried and convicted in 2022 of rape and sexual assault and sentenced to 16 years in prison. This followed a 23-year sentence for similar charges in New York in 2020, a conviction that the state’s highest court overturned six weeks ago.

His lawyers claimed the judge deprived Weinstein of “his constitutional rights to present a defense and led to a miscarriage of justice” by excluding evidence of a romantic relationship with a woman, Jane Doe 1, whom he was convicted of raping. She had a relationship with the director of a film festival who brought them both to Los Angeles when the alleged rape occurred. Weinstein’s attorneys also argued that testimony in the New York case and about alleged assaults he was not charged with influenced the jury.

“The introduction of this excessive, cumulative, and remote evidence of prior ‘sexual assaults’ simply signaled to the jury that the Defendant was a bad man who should be convicted of something irrespective of whether the prosecution proved its case,” the filing states.

The New York Court of Appeals cited similar reasoning in its decision to overturn Weinstein’s conviction in that state.

“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 because that testimony served no material non-propensity purpose,” appellate judges wrote in the majority opinion.

Dave Ring, an attorney representing Jane Doe 1, said in a statement that the California appeal “makes the same tired arguments that he previously made multiple times, without success, to the trial court.”

“We are of the strong opinion that the trial court vetted the evidence appropriately and made all the correct decisions in its evidentiary rulings,” Ring stated. “We are confident that Weinstein’s appeal will be denied and he will spend many years in prison.”

Weinstein, 72, was hospitalized in April, shortly after his New York conviction was overturned. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said Weinstein was “somewhat of a train wreck, health-wise.” The film producer remains imprisoned in the Empire State because his Los Angeles conviction still stands.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who recently successfully prosecuted former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, has indicated he is interested in retrying Weinstein in New York.

Robert Stewart
Robert Stewart
North America Correspondent.

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