Harvey Weinstein’s sex abuse conviction overturned in New York

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) – The New York appeals court on Thursday overturned the 2020 conviction of former film producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual abuse, a scandal that sparked the global #MeToo movement to denounce abusive sexual behavior.

By four votes to three, the highest court of the State of New York considered that the judge who presided over the trial had made an error by allowing prosecutors to call women to testify against Harvey Weinstein even though their accusations had not been retained in the file.

The court of appeal also criticizes the president of the trial for having accepted that the former Hollywood producer be subjected to cross-examination presenting him in a “highly prejudicial” manner.

“The remedy for these manifest errors is the holding of a new trial,” declared the court of appeal.

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It is now up to Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg to decide whether or not to organize a new trial.

A spokesperson for Alvin Bragg did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer.

“Today’s decision is a major step backwards in the effort to hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable,” said Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer who represented eight of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. “This will force the victims to endure yet another trial.”

Harvey Weinstein is serving a 23-year prison sentence after being found guilty in February 2020 in New York of sexually assaulting a former production assistant in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in 2013. He was also convicted last year in California to 16 years in prison for the rape of an actress in Los Angeles. (Jonathan Stempel and Susan Heavey, French version Bertrand Boucey, edited by Sophie Louet)


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