Harvey Weinstein: Disgraced Hollywood producer has #MeToo rape conviction overturned

Jonathon Nolan
The Nightly
Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction that kickstarted the #MeToo movement has been overturned.
Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction that kickstarted the #MeToo movement has been overturned. Credit: AP

In a stunning reversal of the foundational case of the #MeToo era, the 2020 rape ruling against Harvey Weinstein has been overturned by a New York court.

The disgraced Hollywood producer’s felony sex crime conviction was overturned by New York’s Court of Appeals on Thursday morning in a landmark 4-3 decision.

The court found that the judge who presided over Weinstein’s case had made a mistake in allowing witnesses, whose accusations were not related to the charges he was facing, to give evidence.

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The witnesses were women who all said he assaulted them.

The court determined that Weinstein had not received a fair trial.

The four judges in the majority wrote that Weinstein was not tried solely on the crimes he was charged with but instead for much of his past behaviour.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will now be forced to decide whether to seek a retrial.

On behalf of the majority, Judge Jenny Rivera wrote that the handling of Weinstein’s case was an “abuse of judicial discretion”.

“It is an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior that destroys a defendant’s character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges.”

Mr Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala told The New York Times: “This is not just a victory for Mr Weinstein but for every criminal defendant in the state of New York, and we compliment the Court of Appeals for upholding the most basic principles that a criminal defendant should have in a trial.”

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