A judge in New York is allowing fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to move forward with the appeal of his 2020 conviction for committing a criminal sex act against production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006 and the third-degree rape of aspiring actress Jessica Mann in an NYC hotel room in 2013, for which he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for the New York Court of Appeals, the highest in the state, announced that the court had agreed on August 19 to hear Weinstein’s case after the appellate division, a lower court, upheld his conviction in June, Fox News reports.
The five-judge appellate panel in June unanimously ruled against overturning the former Miramax boss’s conviction, unmoved by arguments from Weinstein’s lawyers that the trial judge had wrongly admitted testimony about accusations that were not part of the criminal case, and that the judge should have excused one of the jurors because they had written a novel about “predatory older men.”
This time, however, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore granted Weinstein’s leave for appeal, stating that “questions of law are involved which ought to be reviewed.”
The court rep said that the ruling clears the way for oral arguments next year before the entire court, according to NBC News. The full court could affirm the lower court’s decision and uphold the conviction, or reverse and vacate it. The court could also order a new trial or modify the conviction by upholding some charges and vacating others.
Whatever happens in New York, Weinstein is currently serving his sentence in Los Angeles, where he is awaiting trial on 11 counts of rape and sexual assault pertaining to five alleged victims.
In May, a lawyer for Weinstein convinced the judge in L.A. to refuse to allow outspoken Weinstein accusers Rose McGowan and Daryl Hannah to testify, claiming it would be the same as telling a jury that his client had attempted “to rape America’s sweetheart—the mermaid from Splash.”
And whatever happens in L.A., Weinstein was also charged in June with two counts of indecent assault in London by the Crown Prosecution Service.
In a statement obtained by Fox on Wednesday, Weinstein said, “I am innocent of these charges, and I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart on this. Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end. I look forward to this opportunity to be heard by the New York Court of Appeals.”
Mimi Haley’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said in a statement to NBC that she and her client “hope that his conviction is upheld by the New York Court of Appeals but if a new trial were to be granted, Mimi will continue to be courageous, and she will testify again.”
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