Harvey Weinstein on Monday appealed his sexual assault conviction, asking the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division to throw out his conviction and grant a new trial.
Weinstein was sentenced in March 2020 to 23 years in prison for assaulting a former production assistant and for raping another woman.
Weinstein has also faced other allegations of sexual misconduct. In 2018, the New York Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company (TWC), Harvey Weinstein and Robert Weinstein for allegedly creating a hostile work environment where Weinstein sexually harassed female employees. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced in July that two lawsuits against Weinstein had been settled for $18.9 million, but a federal judge rejected the settlement, citing an inability to certify the victims as a class.
According to the brief filed on Weinstein’s behalf on Monday, the trial judge made errors that denied Weinstein his constitutional right to an impartial jury. This included claims that the trial court failed to dismiss jurors for cause. Weinstein also claimed that he was “stripped of the presumption of innocence” because the court allowed the jury to hear evidence of prior uncharged crimes, which allegedly served no legitimate purpose and was designed to influence the jury’s perception of Weinstein. The trial court also precluded Weinstein from offering expert testimony, and allegedly allowed the plaintiffs to “bolster the credibility” of their witnesses.
The brief also claimed that Weinstein’s conviction for third-degree rape should be reversed and the charge dismissed as time-barred. The brief concludes that the guilty verdicts were “against the weight of the evidence,” and the third-degree rape verdict was insufficient as a matter of law. As a result, Weinstein’s sentence was allegedly “unduly harsh and excessive.”