Harvey Weinstein Appears in New York Court After Overturned Conviction, New Trial Expected for Fall

Harvey Weinstein
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Harvey Weinstein appeared in a Manhattan courtroom Wednesday, less than a week after the New York Court of Appeals overturned his 2020 rape conviction. It’s the first time the former movie producer has been seen in public since he was convicted of rape in a Los Angeles court and sentenced to 16 years in prison in February 2023.

Weinstein was seated in a wheelchair and wheeled by a security guard into a courtroom packed with journalists, lawyers and other officials. Lawyer Gloria Allred and Weinstein accuser Jessica Mann were present in the room. Prosecutor Nicole Blumberg from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said they will seek a retrial in the fall.

“[Mann] wants everyone to know the truth, and the defendant may have power and privilege, but she has the truth,” Blumberg said, adding they “have every reason to believe” Weinstein will be convicted in a retrial.

Attorney Arthur Aidala represented Weinstein and expressed interest in a speedy trial and confidence that Weinstein will be acquitted. Judge Curtis Farber said the new trial is expected to take place sometime after Labor Day.

Last Thursday, New York’s highest court ruled in a 4-3 decision that the judge in Weinstein’s 2020 trial had erred by allowing women to testify about allegations that were not part of the case. His 23-year sentence in New York was reversed, but Weinstein remains in custody due to the Los Angeles conviction.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has indicated that it would seek a retrial. Weinstein’s lawyers are also appealing his Los Angeles conviction, which may be vulnerable in the wake of his overturned New York verdict.

“His conviction was inserted into that case,” Aidala said Wednesday. “If that doesn’t call for a new trial, I don’t know what does.”

“At the time the jury was deciding the evidence in California, they were working under the assumption and the belief that he had properly been convicted in New York,” Jennifer Bonjean, the attorney who is handling Weinstein’s California appeal, told Variety. “Now we know that’s not true.”

Three women testified in the New York trial as “prior bad acts witnesses” to discuss Weinstein’s pattern of bad behavior and assault. The Court of Appeals ruled their testimony distracted the jury from the charges for which he was on trial, which led to the overturned conviction.

“We reaffirm that no person accused of illegality may be judged on proof of uncharged crimes that serve only to establish the accused’s propensity for criminal behavior,” wrote Judge Jenny Rivera in the court’s majority opinion. “It is an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior that destroys a defendant’s character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges lodged against them.”

Weinstein has been imprisoned at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y, but was transferred to Bellevue Hospital over the weekend to treat health problems. Aidala added that while Weinstein has various health problems, his mental abilities “will not be an issue to participate in his defense.”

The next hearing is set for May 29.

From Variety US