Entertainment

Weinstein’s lawyer says it’s a ‘great day for America’ after his rape conviction is overturned

Harvey Weinstein’s accusers have reacted with fury after the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s rape conviction was overturned by the New York Court of Appeals.

Ashley Judd, the first actor to make sexual harassment allegations against the 72-year-old, said the decision was “unfair to survivors”.

“This is what a woman looks like in America, living with a man’s right over her body,” she said at a news conference after the shock ruling was announced.

Harvey Weinstein, pictured entering Manhattan Criminal Court in 2020 before his conviction, still faces a 16-year prison sentence in California. (AFP via Getty Images)

Weinstein was convicted in 2020 of raping and assaulting two women and is currently serving a 23-year sentence in an upstate New York prison.

The New York court overturned the conviction by a 4-3 majority, saying the original trial judge made “egregious errors” in allowing prosecutors to call witnesses whose allegations were unrelated to the charges worn.

Lindsay Goldbrum, who represented six women who came forward against Weinstein, called the decision a “step backwards for the rule of law” and said it could deter future victims of sexual assault from coming forward. “To all victims of sexual assault who are re-traumatized by today’s decision, I am truly sorry,” she said. NBC News.

Ms Goldbrum’s clients include Tarale Wulff, who said the former Hollywood producer raped her in 2005.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday (AFP via Getty Images)

Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, welcomed the decision and said his client had been “judged on his character, not the evidence,” during a news conference in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday.

“Today’s court decision is a great day for America because it instills in us the faith that there is a justice system, that a judge… will say, ‘I don’t care who the defendant is , whether it’s a former president of America’s United States, or the most famous Hollywood producer of our generation. The law applies to everyone,” Mr. Aidala said.

Weinstein learned his conviction had been overturned after someone inside the Mohawk Correctional Center in Rome, New York, gave him a copy of a two-sentence article breaking the news, Mr. Aidala said .

The lawyer said the court’s decision was unexpected and that Weinstein was “very gracious and grateful.”

Hollywood star Ashley Judd, pictured at a press conference hours after Weinstein’s conviction was overturned. She accuses the former Hollywood producer of sexual harassment (PBS News Hour)

Weinstein is now entitled to a new trial in New York, which his legal team has confirmed it wants to pursue.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said it plans to retry Weinstein, meaning his accusers could be forced to retell their stories on the witness stand.

“We will do everything in our power to retry this case and remain steadfast in our commitment to survivors of sexual assault,” said a spokesperson for Mr. Bragg’s office. The Independent.

At his trial in New York in 2020, Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting Mimi Haley, pictured at a 2017 press conference. (Getty Images)

The appeals court’s decision does not mean Weinstein will be released. He was also convicted of rape in California two years ago and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

However, he will not be extradited immediately to California. Weinstein will be transferred to another facility, probably in New York, his spokesman Juda Engelmayer said. The independent THURSDAY.

There he will wait until Mr Bragg intends to retry the case. If the prosecutor decides not to move forward, Weinstein will be extradited to California.

At his 2020 trial, Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting production assistant Mimi Haley, formerly Haleyi, in 2006 and raping future actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

Weinstein, right, pictured with Bill Clinton in 2000, was once a powerful Hollywood producer (Getty Images)

Several women, who were not part of the official charges, testified against him. Witnesses included actress and model Tarale Wulff, who said Weinstein raped her in 2005; actress and producer Dawn Dunning, who said he put his hand up her skirt in 2004; and Lauren Young, who said Weinstein masturbated in front of her and groped her in 2013.

More than 100 women in Hollywood have spoken out against the disgraced producer, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Uma Thurman.

Weinstein was once one of the most influential and powerful producers in Hollywood. He has directed a series of Academy Award-winning films. But behind this glamorous facade, it was a different story. More than 80 women accused him of abuse ranging from groping to rape. Even though his conviction was overturned in New York, he remains convicted of rape in California.

Weinstein’s revelations launched the #MeToo movement in 2017, which saw women from all corners of society come forward to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

Tarale Wulff, pictured speaking after Weinstein’s 2020 trial, testified that the former producer raped her (AFP via Getty Images)

Weinstein’s defense lawyers appealed his 2020 New York conviction in February, arguing that “he was tried, not on the conduct for which he was charged, but on irrelevant, prejudicial allegations and unverified evidence of prior wrongdoing.

While the appeals court agreed with this argument, the three dissenting judges issued a scathing opinion. Judge Madeline Singas wrote that the decision “continued a disturbing trend of overturning juries’ guilty verdicts in cases involving sexual violence.”

“The fundamental misunderstandings about sexual violence perpetrated by men known to the women they are victims of and who have considerable power over them are on full display in the majority view,” she wrote.

The move comes after former TV star Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction was thrown out in Pennsylvania in 2021 and he was released. Cosby’s trial was another notable case involving women who came forward during the #MeToo movement.

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News Source : www.independent.co.uk

Eleon

With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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