Harvey Weinstein Rape Conviction Overturned

The New York Court of Appeals overturned film producer Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction, claiming that the trial judge used the testimony of women who did not bring the complaint.

The court’s 4-3 ruling called for a “new trial.”

“We conclude that the trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes,” the decision read in part.

“The court compounded that error when it ruled that defendant, who had no criminal history, could be cross-examined about those allegations as well as numerous allegations of misconduct that portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light,” the decision added. “The synergistic effect of these errors was not harmless.”

“The only evidence against defendant was the complaintants’ testimony, and the result of the court’s rulings, on the one hand, was to bolster their credibility and diminish defendant’s character before the jury. On the other hand, the threat of a cross-examination highlighting these untested allegations undermined defendant’s right to testify.”

“The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial,” the court wrote.

A dissenting opinion said the ruling was “whitewashing the facts to conform to a he-said/she-said narrative.”

“[T]his Court has continued a disturbing trend of overturning juries’ guilty verdicts in cases involving sexual violence,” Judge Madeline Singas wrote.

Despite the ruling, Weinstein will remain in prison due to a 2022 conviction for another rape.