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After reversal of his N.Y. conviction, Harvey Weinstein appeals L.A. rape conviction

In World
June 08, 2024

Weeks after his felony sex crimes conviction in New York was overturned, disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein has appealed his rape conviction in Los Angeles, with his lawyers arguing that he wasn’t given a “fair opportunity” to defend against the allegations.

Filed in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal on Friday, the appeal argues that the trial judge wrongly barred evidence that his lawyers claim would have disproved allegations from Jane Doe 1 (referred to as JD1 in court documents) that Weinstein went to her hotel room uninvited and “raped her for over an hour” during the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival in 2013. His lawyers also say that the trial judge should not have let jurors in the Los Angeles case know about Weinstein’s New York conviction, and that the jury was unfairly prejudiced by allegations from other women who were not involved with incidents related to the charges.

“Weinstein’s appeal makes the same tired arguments that he previously made multiple times, without success, to the trial court,” Jane Doe 1’s attorney, David Ring, told The Associated Press on Friday. “We are of the strong opinion that the trial court vetted the evidence appropriately and made all the correct decisions in its evidentiary rulings. We are confident that Weinstein’s appeal will be denied and he will spend many years in prison.”

Weinstein’s lawyers are seeking a new trial in Los Angeles. His publicist Juda Engelmayer said in a statement to NBC News that the appeal argues there were “brazen legal missteps” that violated his right to a fair trial.

“Harvey Weinstein was tried by a system devoted to ‘getting him’ at all costs,” Engelmayer said.

Weinstein, now 72, was found guilty of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault against Jane Doe 1 in a Los Angeles court in 2022. He was sentenced to 16 years behind bars. At the time, he was already serving time in prison for a landmark #MeToo conviction in New York. That conviction that was overturned in late April after repeated appeals efforts.

The reversal of his New York conviction came as a huge blow to the women who testified against him in court, raising questions about how equipped the legal system is to address sexual violence. At least 100 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual abuse.

New York prosecutors have said they plan to retry him as early as September.

This article was originally published on MSNBC.com

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