Judge Grants Harvey Weinstein’s Request For Appeal Of Rape Conviction

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein became the face of the #MeToo era when numerous women came forward to accuse him of various acts of sexual misconduct, up to and including forcible rape.

He has since been convicted and sentenced to more than two decades in prison, though his attorneys have appealed the conviction and he continues to maintain his innocence.

A New York state appeals court granted an appeal in the case this week, which means Weinstein could be allowed a new trial and might even have his 2020 convictions dismissed.

As Judge Janet DiFiore explained in her decision on Wednesday, Weinstein’s defense team will now be allowed to present briefs to the court, which will then determine whether he should be granted a retrial. One of his attorneys issued a statement expressing gratitude to the judge.

Arthur Aidala said that DiFiori “acknowledged the unique legal issues in this case,” expressing hope that “the entire court will find that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and reverse his conviction.”

In making their case for an appeal, the defense attorneys argued in part that the jury heard “excessive, random, and highly dubious prior bad act evidence, none of which shed light on disputed issues relevant to the charged offenses.”

In his own statement, the disgraced producer once again insisted that he is “innocent of these charges” and thanked his lawyers for continuing to work “hard and smart” on his behalf.

“Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end,” he added. “I look forward to this opportunity to be heard by the New York Court of Appeals.”

Another Weinstein spokesperson asserted that the development “demonstrates that there is, in fact, merit to the appeal” and reiterated that “Harvey’s attorneys will do what is needed to prove his innocence of the charges.”

Of course, his many critics and victims insist that Weinstein is exactly where he deserves to be: behind bars.

Attorney Doug Wigdor represented some of the victims during the original trial and dismissed the appeal attempt as the move of “a desperate man,” expressing confidence that the forthcoming process will uphold “the trial court’s conviction and sentence.”