Harvey Weinstein to cite #MeToo ‘noise’ in final NY bid to reverse rape conviction

Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein is making a last-ditch effort to have his 2020 Manhattan sex crimes conviction overturned. His lawyers claim the “noise” caused by the #MeToo movement interfered with the Hollywood producer’s right to a fair trial.

As Weinstein, 71, finishes his 23-year sentence in an upstate prison, his lawyers told New York State’s Supreme Court of Appeals on Wednesday that jurors found him guilty of the notorious anti-sexual harassment movement. He plans to claim that he has unfairly heard an avalanche of damning stories about the judge. revolution at the time.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, recently argued to the Post that “the trial judge allowed the #MeToo movement to enter the courtroom.”

The Intermediate Court of Appeals in June 2022 rejected many of the same arguments that Aidala is scheduled to make before a seven-judge panel in Albany on Wednesday afternoon.

But the veteran lawyer, who has a reputation for representing reviled figures including British socialite and convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, is no stranger to being the poster boy for #MeToo. He plans to argue again that Weinstein’s status tainted Judge James Burke’s ruling.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers claim the judge in his Manhattan trial gave the #MeToo movement too much of a role. Stephen Hirsch

Aidala said during Wednesday’s argument that the judge had gotten “too caught up in the noise,” citing “international outcry” and Weinstein’s status as “public enemy No. 1” in the movement. He said he plans to add it.

The #MeToo movement was marked by people around the world coming forward with stories of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse, much of it at the hands of those in power. In total, more than 80 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein, the former chairman of Miramax, as a sex offender.

The Manhattan jury consists of seven men and five women. Weinstein was found guilty in February 2020 first degree sexual offense crime force oral sex For assaulting former “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haley and hairstylist Jessica Mann for third-degree rape.

A total of six women testified against Weinstein and hugged each other in the front row of the courtroom bleachers as Judge Burke in March 2020. handed down a harsh sentence.

Attorney Arthur Aidala is known for representing people facing public outrage, including convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell. alec tabak

“The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, costume designer and producer Dawn Dunning, and actresses Taral Wolf and Lauren Marie Young all spoke out against Weinstein. Description of abusive behavior He did not file criminal charges.

Still, the verdict was only a partial victory for prosecutors, as Weinstein was acquitted of key charges related to Mann, including predatory sexual assault, which carried a possible life sentence.

Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers argued that the trial court’s decision to include extensive testimony about Mr. Weinstein’s previous “bad conduct” was an “unprecedented” step that violated Mr. Weinstein’s rights.

“They turned a ‘he said, she said’ case into a ‘he said, she said, she said, she said…’ case. she said’ This incident,” Aidala said in an interview.

Weinstein’s lawyers said in court documents that one of the jurors in the case improperly disclosed that he had “published a ‘highly personal’ book about the sexual predation of older men against young women.” claimed that he did not.

Six women testified against Weinstein at trial, and a jury found him guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree rape. Reuters

Aidala will be given 20 minutes to make a statement Wednesday at the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany.

Stephen Wu, appellate director for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, will then deliver a 20-minute argument on behalf of prosecutors.

The discussion will begin around 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on YouTube.

Even if Weinstein’s conviction is overturned, prosecutors still have the option of retrying him.

The outcome of Wednesday’s arguments means Weinstein will be sentenced to 16 years in prison in February 2023 after a jury convicted him of raping a woman 10 years ago in 2013. It does not affect other criminal cases in Los Angeles.



Sign up to stay informed to breaking news