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Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 sex crimes conviction in New York overturned : NPR



Harvey Weinstein's 2020 sex crimes conviction in New York overturned : NPR

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein ,showing in a Los Angeles courtroom in Oct. 2022.

Etienne Laurent/Getty Pictures

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Etienne Laurent/Getty Pictures

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein ,showing in a Los Angeles courtroom in Oct. 2022.

Etienne Laurent/Getty Pictures

Editor’s be aware: This report consists of descriptions of sexual assault.

On Thursday morning, the very best courtroom in New York state overturned the 2020 felony intercourse crime conviction of former film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and ordered a brand new trial. Weinstein has been serving a 23-year sentence in New York on the idea of that conviction. The Manhattan district legal professional’s workplace advised NPR it intends to retry the case.

The New York State Court docket of Appeals present in a 4-3 choice that Weinstein had not acquired a good trial, partially as a result of the trial decide allowed testimony from girls whose allegations weren’t a part of that case. (In all, greater than 100 girls made public allegations towards Weinstein.)

On behalf of the appeals courtroom majority, Choose Jenny Rivera wrote partially within the ruling: “We conclude that the trial courtroom erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts towards individuals apart from the complainants of the underlying crimes as a result of that testimony served no materials non-propensity goal… The one proof towards defendent [Weinstein] was the complainants’ testimony, and the results of the courtroom’s rulings … was to bolster their credibility and diminish defendant’s character earlier than the jury.”

These girls testified in courtroom as “Molineux witnesses” or “prior dangerous act witnesses” — which has been allowed in New York in sure conditions going again to 1900. Critics and authorized consultants say that software of the “Molineux Rule” might be extremely subjective, and leaves verdicts extra open to challenges.

In a written assertion to NPR Thursday, legal professional Douglas Wigdor, who has represented eight alleged Harvey Weinstein victims, together with two of the Molineux witnesses within the New York legal trial, mentioned: “Right this moment’s choice is a serious step again in holding these accountable for acts of sexual violence. Courts routinely admit proof of different uncharged acts the place they help juries in understanding points in regards to the intent, modus operandi or scheme of the defendant. The jury was instructed on the relevance of this testimony and overturning the decision is tragic in that it’ll require the victims to endure yet one more trial.”

It would now be as much as the Manhattan district legal professional, Alvin Bragg Jr., to launch a brand new trial towards Weinstein. Bragg is at present concerned in one other very high-profile case: the New York trial of former president Donald Trump, who has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying enterprise information within the first diploma. A spokesperson for the DA’s workplace advised NPR Thursday in a written assertion: “We’ll do all the things in our energy to retry this case, and stay steadfast in our dedication to survivors of sexual assault.”

Regardless of the New York courtroom’s choice, one other conviction towards Weinstein stands for now. In Feb. 2023, a decide in Los Angeles sentenced Weinstein to a 16-year jail time period on a separate conviction of rape and sexual assault. That sentence is to be served consecutively after the New York jail time period. As of Thursday morning, Weinstein was being held in upstate New York, on the Mohawk Correctional Facility.

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