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Harvey Weinstein Appeals Hearing Today For 2020 NY Rape Conviction

Nearly four years after Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sent to prison, New York’s highest court will hear arguments Wednesday in his quest to overturn the landmark #MeToo-era verdict, the Associated Press reports. Weinstein’s lawyers are asking the state’s Court of Appeals in Albany to dismiss the disgraced movie mogul’s 2020 conviction, arguing the judge trampled his right to a fair trial by “succumbing to the pressure” of America’s reckoning with sexual misconduct perpetrated by powerful figures. The judge, James Burke, allowed testimony from three women whose allegations weren’t part of the case and ruled that prosecutors could confront Weinstein about other, unrelated misbehavior if he had testified, which he declined to do.

“What we’re arguing is that there should not be a different set of rules for an individual in society who becomes vilified,” Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, said. There can’t be “the Weinstein rule that just applies to that little sliver of society that everyone decides to really hate,” he said. Last year, Weinstein was convicted in Los Angeles of raping and sexually assaulting an Italian actor and model, who said he appeared uninvited at her hotel room door during a film festival there in 2013. He was sentenced to an additional 16 years in prison in that case, meaning he’d still be locked up even if the Court of Appeals were to rule in his favor. Weinstein maintains his innocence. He contends any sexual activity was consensual. He is not expected to attend Wednesday’s arguments, which pertain only to the New York case, but may monitor the court’s livestream from prison. The court is not likely to rule immediately.


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