Harvey Weinstein was granted an appeal Wednesday that sets the stage for the possible overturn of his 2020 rape conviction in New York.
The order from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York State Court of Appeals will allow oral arguments from Weinstein’s legal team and prosecutors some time next year, after which the full court will decide whether to vacate, modify or uphold the conviction.
If it decides not to uphold the guilty verdict, the state’s highest court could also order a new trial for the once-powerful movie producer.
Weinstein’s attorney Arthur Aidela said in a statement to NBC News, ABC News and Fox News that he and his client were “grateful” DiFiore “acknowledged the unique legal issues in this case.”
Weinstein himself said in a statement provided by a spokesperson that his legal team’s “hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end.”
Weinstein was convicted in February 2020 on two counts of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison the following month.
This past June, an intermediate-level appeals court in New York upheld the conviction, rejecting the Weinstein’s claim that the trial judge unfairly let in testimony about accusations outside of the case.
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The charges in New York were brought as a result of allegations from two women, aspiring actress Jessica Mann, and Mimi Haley, a former production assistant. They were among more than 80 women who publicly accused Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment.
Weinstein has denied all of the allegations which fuelled the #MeToo movement and ended his Oscar-winning career in Hollywood.
Weinstein is currently being held in custody in Los Angeles as he awaits a new trial set for October, where he will face 11 charges of rape and sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty to those crimes.
More to come…
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