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New York Appeals Court overturns Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape and sexual assault convictions

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New York Appeals Court overturns Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape and sexual assault convictions

The New York State Court of Appeals has overturned Harvey Weinstein‘s rape conviction from 2020, making the 4-3 decision on Thursday, April 25 on the basis that the judge on the trial prejudiced Weinstein with “egregious” improper rulings, including a decision to let women testify about allegations that weren’t part of the case.

According to the Associated Press, the decision also stated: “We conclude that the trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes. The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial,” and also noted that testimony “served no material non-propensity purpose” and “portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light.”  The court claimed that there was “an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior that destroys a defendant’s character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges lodged against them.”

Weinstein was charged after being accused of forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006 and raping another women in 2013; he was found guilty in February 2020 of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree in a New York City courtroom, and was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.

PEOPLE reports that it is unclear at this time if Weinstein, 72, will face another trial in connection with these charges. The former Hollywood mogul will be transferred to the custody of prison authorities in California and will remain imprisoned, stemming from his Los Angeles conviction in 2022 on other rape charges, where he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. (Weinstein was acquitted in Los Angeles on charges involving one of the women who testified in New York.).

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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