A New York appeals court upheld Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction and 23-year prison sentence, rejecting the former movie mogul’s claim that the judge at his landmark #MeToo trial unfairly allowed women to testify about allegations that weren’t part of the case, the Associated Press reports. The ruling Thursday by a five-judge panel in the state’s intermediate appeals court affirmed one of the highest-profile verdicts to date in the nation's reckoning with sexual misconduct by powerful figures, which began with a flood of allegations against Weinstein. Weinstein’s publicist, Juda Engelmayer, said he will appeal the decision to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. “We are disappointed, but not surprised,” Engelmayer said. Weinstein, 70, was convicted in New York in February 2020 of forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant, Mimi Haley, in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in 2013.
He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault stemming from actor Annabella Sciorra’s allegations of a mid-1990s rape. Weinstein is jailed in California, where he was extradited last year and is awaiting trial on charges he assaulted five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents Haley and Sciorra,, said that she was “thrilled” Weinstein’s conviction was upheld and that her clients’ “many sacrifices for the cause of justice” were not in vain. The appeals court took an unusually long time to rule , nearly six months after contentious oral arguments last December that stoked raised about whether his conviction would stand.