Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction overturned by New York appeals court

Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction for rape has been overturned, with a New York court ordering a new trial in the landmark “MeToo” case.

The state’s highest court found the judge at the trial prejudiced the ex-movie mogul with “egregious” improper rulings, including a decision to let women testify about allegations that were not part of the case.

In a 4-3 decision, it was decided Weinstein had not received a fair trial, with the court’s majority saying it was “an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior”.

One of the judges who voted against the decision, Judge Madeline Singas, said the majority was “whitewashing the facts to conform to a he-said/she-said narrative”.

She said the Court of Appeals was continuing a “disturbing trend of overturning juries’ guilty verdicts in cases involving sexual violence”.

Ms Singas added: “The majority’s determination perpetuates outdated notions of sexual violence and allows predators to escape accountability.”

The ruling by the Court of Appeals will mean a painful chapter in reckoning with sexual misconduct by powerful figures looks likely to be reopened.

It was an era that began in 2017 with a flood of allegations against the film producer dating back to the 1970s.

Weinstein’s accusers could again be forced to relive their traumas on the witness stand.

The 72-year-old has been serving a 23-year sentence in a New York prison after being accused of sexually assaulting ex-production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013 following the landmark 2020 trial.

However, he will remain behind bars as he was also sentenced last year in Los Angeles to 16 years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting an actress in a Beverly Hills Hotel.

The Los Angeles conviction is not affected by Thursday’s decision in New York.

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