Harvey Weinstein Appeals His New York Sex Crimes Conviction

His lawyers claim he was unable to receive a fair trial due to the publicity surrounding his case

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein in February 2020.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than a year after he was convicted of multiple sex crimes — including one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count of rape in the third degree — and sentenced to 23 years in prison, Harvey Weinstein has officially filed an appeal.

The disgraced producer’s legal team insists in a 190-page appellate brief filed today in New York that he was unable to receive a fair trial due to the amount of publicity his case received.

“Mr. Weinstein was tried in a venue, the atmosphere of which was permeated with negative publicity about him and his alleged relationships with women,” the document reads. “Mr. Weinstein had a right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. The trial court should have exercised the utmost vigilance in protecting this most important right of the defendant. Instead, the trial court was cavalier in its obligation to safeguard this right and the consequences for Mr. Weinstein were disastrous.”

Weinstein’s lawyers are reportedly seeking to have his convictions “reversed, the third-degree rape charge dismissed, and a new trial ordered on the single count of first-degree criminal sexual act based on the July 10, 2006 incident” with “complainant Miriam Haley.”

The legal team is apparently opting for a kitchen-sink approach to Weinstein’s appeal, throwing out a bunch of grievances and hoping one sticks. As Deadline reports, “Weinstein’s jam-packed constitutional violations-based appeal also features appearances by an indiscreet NYPD detective, the past LA County D.A., ‘the trial court’s refusal to permit expert testimony by the defense,’ the media, ‘prior bad acts’ testimony and an overall undermining of the decisions of Judge Burke during the 2020 trial itself.”

The appeal seems to be nothing more than a Hail Mary move ahead of Weinstein’s April 6 extradition hearing to determine when and how he’ll head to Los Angeles to face felony counts of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery. If convicted of the new California charges, he could be facing as much as 140 years in prison or a triple life sentence.

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