New York court upholds sex crime conviction against Harvey Weinstein

A New York appeals court upheld Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 felony sex offense conviction on Thursday, raising the odds that the infamous filmmaker will serve a significant portion of his 23-year sentence.

Mr. Weinstein, 70, has been awaiting trial in Los Angeles since last summer, where he was charged with multiple counts of rape and forced oral sex, as well as other sex crimes. A trial date is expected to be confirmed this month.

New York’s legal community is looking forward to the state’s verdict, especially after oral arguments in December, when members of the five-judge panel hearing the case appeared to be skeptical of some of the trial judge’s decisions.

But Thursday’s decision was unanimous — and clear.

“We reject the defendant’s arguments and affirm the conviction on all counts,” Judge Angela M. Mazzarelli, the opinion’s author, wrote.

Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers said his legal team would ask New York’s Supreme Court of Appeals to review the confirmation. The court will not automatically take up the case.

“We are clearly disappointed by the court’s decision and look forward to asking the Court of Appeals to review legal issues that we believe are significant,” attorney Barry Cummings said. “Mr. Weinstein will continue to pursue all available legal remedies to prove that he did not receive a fair trial.”

In the fall of 2017, reports of Weinstein’s sexual abuse of women by Weinstein appeared in the New York Times, leading dozens of people to talk about their experiences, and eventually sparking the so-called #MeToo movement, a sexual assault on powerful men. Global denial of misconduct.

The Weinstein case has sparked a flurry of charges against other high-profile individuals, as well as a broader discussion of ubiquitous sexual harassment and assault and the harm caused by such conduct.

Less than a year later, Mr. Weinstein was indicted by Manhattan prosecutors and charged with sex crimes.

His trial began in January 2020, and late the following month, a jury found him guilty of two felonies: criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and rape in the third degree. He was convicted of two counts of predatory sexual assault. In March, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the former Manhattan district attorney who charged Mr. Weinstein, said Thursday that the appeals court’s decision was a “relief,” but added that he has been skeptical of the evidence. Strength is confident.

“The trial court made a balanced decision, providing a fair trial for the accused regardless,” Mr Vance said. “Most importantly, I am grateful that the Court of Appeals has included the testimony of these women in structuring its legal analysis.”

His successor, Alvin L. Bragg, added that the appeals court upheld “a huge conviction that has changed the way prosecutors and courts conduct complex prosecutions of sexual offenders.”

Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers appealed his conviction in April 2021, arguing that the three women who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual assault but he was not charged should never have been allowed to testify and that prosecutors “interrogated Weinstein” character rather than his behavior.”

But Judge Mazzarelli said the women provided “useful information” and their statements were key to showing Weinstein’s pattern of behavior. She said they proved that Mr Weinstein did not see his victims as “romantic partners or friends” but “his goal was always to put these women in positions where he could have sex with them and whether women Agreed has nothing to do with him.”

She said the witness helped the jury understand the dynamics between Mr Weinstein and his victim, particularly since the woman he was accused of assaulting later continued to have a relationship with him.

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