Harvey Weinstein appeals rape conviction in MeToo situation

Harvey Weinstein enters the courthouse on July 11, 2019 in New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Photos

Legal professionals for movie producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday filed an appeal of his conviction for rape and a further sex criminal offense.

Weinstein, 69, was convicted in February 2020 following a demo in Manhattan Supreme Courtroom.

He is serving a 23-yr jail sentence in the circumstance, which was attempted two decades just after explosive allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein ignited the #MeToo motion that has ongoing to derail the occupations of other large-profile adult men to this day.

His attorneys in a court filing laid out 7 grounds for overturning the conviction of the producer of films this sort of as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Enjoy,” and “Gangs of New York.”

They involve the assert that Weinstein was denied his ideal to be tried by an neutral jury when the demo judge, James Burke, denied his challenge to bar a prospective juror who experienced created an autobiographical book about “the predations of older adult males from more youthful women of all ages, and who lied about the material of the reserve for the duration of” jury choice.

Defense attorneys also argued that Weinstein was denied his proper to a honest trial for the reason that jurors have been allowed to listen to promises of major sexual misconduct by him that have been not the subject matter of the distinct expenses he faces, and that defense industry experts had been improperly barred from testifying on the topic of memory of sexual activities.

And, the legal professionals argued, Weinstein acquired “a sentence that was severe and excessive.”

The appeal is filed in the Appellate Division in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“We have submitted a 166-website page transient, outlining a number of critical issues made through the course of the demo,” Weinstein’s appellate law firm Barry Kamins said in a statement to CNBC.

“We are assured that the Appellate Division will discover these issues major adequate to need a reversal of the conviction,” Kamins explained.

Jurors convicted Weinstein committing a 1st-diploma legal sexual act by forcibly performing oral sex on manufacturing assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006. He also was discovered responsible of 3rd-diploma rape for attacking aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.

During the demo, jurors read testimony from the actress Annabella Sciorra, who explained that Weinstein had raped her in her Manhattan apartment in 1993.

Weinstein was not charged with raping Sciorra, but her testimony, together with that of five other gals, was allowed by Burke, the judge, in buy to enable prosecutors to exhibit a sample of predatory carry out by the motion picture mogul. Scores of other ladies have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

One more lawyer for Weinstein, Arthur Aidala, explained, “With a calendar year driving us and emotions subsided, the transcript of the case confirms what we constantly thought: that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a honest demo.”

“We will argue that the trial judge disregarded perfectly acknowledged and basic rules of New York law and violated Mr. Weinstein’s constitutional rights,” Aidala mentioned. “We have the utmost confidence that the Appellate Division will right these faults and mail this situation back ahead of a distinctive judge.”

Douglas Wigdor, a attorney who signifies 7 women of all ages who have built allegations towards Weinstein, like one who testified at the demo, stated in a statement, “Harvey Weinstein’s legal appeal is a desperate try to undo a reasonable trial overseen by Choose Burke and the findings of a properly-reasoned and thoughtful jury.”

“We are confident the appeal will not alter his conviction and sentence,” Wigdor stated.

 In addition to the New York case, Weinstein also faces pending charges filed in January 2020 by the Los Angeles district attorney’s business, which accuses him of raping a person lady and sexually assaulting a second female around a two-day time period in 2013.

The Los Angeles DA has a pending extradition request for Weinstein, who is becoming held in a New York point out jail. Weinstein, who has a number of wellbeing challenges, tested positive for the coronavirus in March 2020 when in jail.

Weinstein established the amusement company Miramax with his brother, Bob Weinstein.

They afterwards established The Weinstein Enterprise, another motion picture generation business, which submitted for bankruptcy in early 2018 on the heels of the damning allegations towards Harvey Weinstein, to start with printed in The New Yorker and The New York Moments. The Weinstein Company shuttered afterwards that identical year.

– CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this short article.