Harvey Weinstein appeals rape conviction in California

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has appealed his rape conviction in Los Angeles. His lawyers argue that he did not receive a fair trial.

Weinstein was tried in 2022 on rape and sexual assault charges and sentenced to 16 years in prison. He was previously sentenced to 23 years in New York on similar charges in 2020. The state's highest court overturned the verdict six weeks ago.

His lawyers said the judge “denied Weinstein his constitutional rights to a defense and caused a miscarriage of justice” by excluding evidence of a romantic relationship with a woman, Jane Doe 1, he had convicted of raping, and the director of a film festival who brought them both to Los Angeles when the alleged rape occurred. Weinstein's lawyers also argued that testimony in the New York case and about alleged assaults he was not charged with influenced the jury.

“The presentation of this excessive, cumulative and remote evidence of prior 'sexual assault' merely signaled to the jury that the defendant was a bad person who should be convicted of anything, regardless of whether the prosecution had proven its case,” the filing states.

The New York Court of Appeals cited similar reasoning in its decision to overturn Weinstein's conviction in that state.

“We conclude that the trial court erred in admitting testimony about uncharged, alleged past sexual conduct with persons other than the plaintiffs in the underlying crimes because that testimony did not serve any substantial, non-proclivity-related purpose,” the appellate judges wrote in the majority opinion.

Dave Ring, an attorney representing Jane Doe 1, said in a statement that the California appeal “makes the same hackneyed arguments he has made before the court several times before, unsuccessfully.”

“We firmly believe that the court has properly reviewed the evidence and made all the correct decisions in its evidentiary rulings,” Ring said. “We are confident that Weinstein's appeal will be denied and that he will spend many years in prison.”


Weinstein, 72, was hospitalized in April, shortly after his New York conviction was overturned. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said Weinstein was “very poorly medically.” The film producer remains incarcerated in the Empire State because his Los Angeles conviction still stands.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who recently successfully prosecuted former President Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records, has indicated he is interested in retrial of Weinstein in New York.

Anna Harden

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