Harvey Weinstein appeals rape and sexual assault conviction


Photo: Peter Foley / Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Monday, Harvey Weinstein’s legal team filed an appeal of his rape and sexual assault convictions, as well as his 23-year prison sentence. Weinstein’s attorneys largely reiterated complaints they had previously made about the case, including arguments that the trial judge, Judge James Burke, wrongly allowed a woman who had written a novel about predatory older men to take part. of the jury.

In the nearly 190-page appeal, Weinstein’s attorneys argued that “he was denied his constitutional right to be tried by an impartial jury” because of this juror.

“Juror No. 11’s fixation on consent issues and predatory older men and her insincerity about it raises troubling questions about whether she prejudged Mr. Weinstein’s guilt and whether she had a personal agenda to see him convicted.” they wrote. “Allowing Jury No. 11 to participate in the deliberations not only obstructed the judicial process, but erased it on its own.”

They also claimed that Burke mistakenly allowed prosecutors to bring sexual misconduct allegations for which Weinstein was not charged, further compounding the injustice of these proceedings.

Among these uncontested allegations are statements in testimony from Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young. Dunning testified that Weinstein touched her genitals without consent during a meeting and said that, at a later point, he offered her film work in exchange for a threesome. Wulff claimed that Weinstein masturbated in front of her at the restaurant where she worked and raped her in her Soho apartment. Young alleged that Weinstein caught her in her hotel room bathroom, touched her, and masturbated in front of her.

“As a result, Mr. Weinstein was tried not only for the alleged criminal acts charged in the indictment, but also for his alleged propensity to behave in ways that displayed debauchery in his dealings with women,” Weinstein’s attorneys wrote.

The filing of Weinstein’s detailed appeal documents comes just over a year after his sentencing on March 11, 2020. On February 24, 2020, a Manhattan jury convicted Weinstein of first degree criminal sexual act and third degree rape for attacking Miriam. Haley and Jessica Mann, respectively.

Weinstein, who is currently behind bars in a New York state prison near Buffalo, has maintained his innocence. His attorneys filed a notice of appeal in early April 2020, stating that they would fight the verdict. People found guilty of crimes have the right to appeal their convictions.

Weinstein, 69, also faces criminal charges in Los Angeles for alleged sex crimes.

Regarding the defense team’s complaints about his sentence, they argued: “Unfortunately for Mr. Weinstein, the judgment of the trial court does not reflect on Mr. Weinstein, the man and the conduct for which he was convicted. But in Mr. Weinstein, the media. ” villain.”

“We request that this Tribunal consider whether a [then] 68-year-old man by any other name, no criminal record, a lifetime of professional contributions in his field; an incomparable history of charitable work; and serious medical conditions were condemned so harshly for acts that did not involve violence or injury to the complainants, and where both complainants continued to have voluntary sexual relations with the accused. We think not, ”they said.

When asked for comment, spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Danny Frost, said in an email: “We will respond in our brief to the court.”

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