Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction overturned by New York court

Harvey Weinstein

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction has been overturned by New York’s top court, on the basis that he did not receive a fair trial.

The Court of Appeals found that prosecutors were allowed to call witnesses whose accusations were not part of the charges against him.

Its ruling said that meant he was tried on past behaviour and not solely on the crimes he was charged with.

Weinstein, 72, will remain in prison for a separate conviction for rape.

The court reached a 4-3 ruling on Thursday, stating that the trial “erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes.

“The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial.”

One of the dissenting judges however said that with the decision, “this Court continues to thwart the steady gains survivors of sexual violence have fought for in our criminal justice system”.

Accusations against Weinstein began in 2017 and sparked the #MeToo movement, which exposed sexual abuse at the highest levels of the Hollywood film industry and beyond.

He faced two trials: in New York, where he was jailed for 23 years in 2020 for raping two women; and in California, where he was sentenced to 16 years for raping a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel.

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