Harvey Weinstein: I Didn't Get a Fair Trial

Attorneys for disgraced Hollywood mogul appeal his convictions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2021 12:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – Attorneys for Harvey Weinstein demanded a new trial Monday, arguing that their client didn't receive a fair one the first time around. Among other things, they say the judge should not have allowed testimony from women whose accusations never resulted in criminal charges, reports the Wall Street Journal. "Simply put, the prosecution tried Weinstein’s character, not his conduct," the lawyers write in their appeal, per the New York Times. Weinstein, now 69, was convicted of two felony sex crimes in a case that helped launched the #MeToo movement, and he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. While more than 90 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, the trial centered on the accusations of only two. However, the judge allowed three other women to recount their own allegations.

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"With a year behind us and emotions subsided, the transcript of the case confirms what we always believed: that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial," says Weinstein attorney Arthur Aidala. "We have the utmost confidence that the Appellate Division will correct these mistakes and send this case back before a different judge." Prosecutors, who sought to establish a pattern of predatory behavior, say they will respond to the arguments. The appeal also argues that the judge should have booted a juror whose forthcoming novel centered on how "predatory older men" preyed on young women, per the Journal. Even if Weinstein wins a new trial and manages to be acquitted, he's far from in the clear—he faces a separate criminal investigation in California. (Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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