Harvey Weinstein to Face Retrial in Manhattan Despite California Sentence

Harvey Weinstein's 2020 sex crimes conviction in New York overturned, setting stage for potential retrial; case seen as critical test for #MeToo movement.

Ebenezer Mensah
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Harvey Weinstein to Face Retrial in Manhattan Despite California Sentence

Harvey Weinstein to Face Retrial in Manhattan Despite California Sentence

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced former Hollywood producer, is set to appear in a Manhattan court on Wednesday for a hearing that could mark the first step toward a new sex crimes trial in New York. This comes after his 2020 conviction on felony sex crime charges was overturned by the New York Court of Appeals in a 4-to-3 decision.

The court sided with Weinstein's defense team, ruling that the trial judge had erred in allowing the prosecutors to call as witnesses women who said they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein but whose accusations were not tied to the charges he faced. "We reject the defendant's arguments that the People's use of uncharged sexual assault evidence deprived him of a fair trial," the court stated in its decision.

Weinstein, who had been serving a 23-year sentence in New York, was transferred to the Rikers Island jail complex on Friday to await the next steps in his judicial process. He is also facing a 16-year sentence in California, where he was convicted of raping an Italian actress in 2013.

The Manhattan district attorney's office has stated that it "will do everything in our power to retry this case." Prosecutors have signaled their intention to retry Weinstein, despite the fact that he is currently serving the lengthy sentence in California for a separate rape trial.

Why this matters: The overturning of Weinstein's New York conviction and the prospect of a retrial have shocked and disappointed many women who celebrated the gains made during the #MeToo era. The case is seen as a critical test for the movement and the ability to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct.

Weinstein's spokesperson said he is looking forward to a fair trial. The case was originally brought by Weinstein's predecessor, Cyrus Vance, and the retrial would be before a different judge since the original judge is no longer on the bench. Regardless of the outcome of a potential retrial in New York, Weinstein is likely to remain in custody due to his separate conviction and 16-year sentence in California.

Key Takeaways

  • Weinstein's 2020 NY conviction overturned, new trial possible
  • Court ruled prosecutors improperly used uncharged assault evidence
  • Weinstein transferred to Rikers Island, also serving 16-year CA sentence
  • Manhattan DA vows to retry Weinstein, case seen as critical for #MeToo
  • Weinstein's spokesperson says he looks forward to a fair retrial