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Harvey Weinstein lawyers to argue he didn’t get fair trial in latest bid to toss 2020 NY rape conviction

harvey-weinstein-lawyers-to-argue-he-didn’t-get-fair-trial-in-latest-bid-to-toss-2020-ny-rape-conviction
Harvey Weinstein lawyers to argue he didn’t get fair trial in latest bid to toss 2020 NY rape conviction

New York’s highest appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday afternoon in disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s bid to reverse his Manhattan rape conviction nearly four years ago.

A lawyer for Weinstein, 71, plans to argue at the state Court of Appeals that public outcry from the #MeToo movement thwarted the former studio boss’ right to a fair trial.

Weinstein will not attend the hearing, but it’s possible that he’ll be allowed to watch from the Mohawk Correctional Facility, a medium-security state prison in upstate New York where he’s serving out a 23-year sentence.

Harvey Weinstein's lawyers plan to argue that he didn't get a fair trial in a bid to toss his 2020 rape conviction in New York.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers plan to argue that he didn’t get a fair trial in a bid to toss his 2020 rape conviction in New York. Photo by Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images

Arthur Aidala, defense attorney standing outside court in a suit and hat, represents Lauren Pazienza.

Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala will argue at the state Court of Appeals that the #MeToo movement prevented the disgraced movie producer from getting a fair trial. Alec Tabak

His attorney, Arthur Aidala, is also set to claim that the judge at Weinstein’s dramatic, emotional 2020 trial unfairly allowed three women whose allegations were not connected to the case to take the stand — arguments already rejected by a mid-level appellate court in June 2022.

Aidala plans to add that Justice James Burke also improperly ruled that prosecutors could confront Weinstein with an avalanche of evidence of damning prior “bad acts” if he testified.

A Manhattan jury of seven men and five women found Weinstein guilty in February 2020 of criminal sexual act in the first degree for forcibly performing oral sex on former “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi and rape in the third degree for an attack on hairstylist Jessica Mann.

Costume designer and producer Dawn Dunning and actresses Tarale Wulff and Lauren Marie Young all took the stand as well against Weinstein — describing abusive behavior from him that did not lead to criminal charges.

Tarale Wulff leaving court after Weinstein was convicted on March 11, 2020.

Tarale Wulff leaving court after Weinstein was convicted on March 11, 2020. Steven Hirsch

Lauren Young arriving in court for Weinstein's sentencing.

Lauren Young arriving in court for Weinstein’s sentencing. Steven Hirsch

The verdict was only a partial win for prosecutors, as Weinstein was acquitted of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault stemming from allegations from “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who also testified during the trial.

More than 80 women in total have come forward to describe Weinstein, the former head of movie studio Miramax, as a sexual predator.

Weinstein has insisted that the encounters were consensual and claimed at his sentencing in the Manhattan case that he had “wonderful times” with his accusers.

Weinstein might be allowed to watch the appeal from the Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

Weinstein might be allowed to watch the appeal from the Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Steven Hirsch

“I’m totally confused and I think men are confused,” he said during a rambling address delivered while six of his accusers gripped each other in the first row of the courtroom’s gallery.

Weinstein did not apologize to any of the women who testified against him — yet said he felt “remorse” in general.

“I really feel remorse of this situation,” Weinstein said from the defense table. “I feel it deeply in my heart.”

Weinstein’s lawyers have also claimed in court papers that a trial juror unfairly failed to disclose “that she was publishing a ‘highly personal’ book about the sexual predations of older men against young women.”

Aidala will have 20 minutes Wednesday to make his pitch to a seven-judge panel.

Steven Wu, chief of appeals for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, will then argue for 20 minutes on behalf of prosecutors.

The judges are not expected to issue a ruling immediately.

Weinstein was separately sentenced in February 2023 to 16 years in prison in a Los Angeles criminal case after a California jury convicted him of raping an Italian model, who testified that he threw himself onto her after appearing uninvited outside her hotel room during an Italian film festival there in 2013. 

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