Harvey Weinstein appeals rape conviction in MeToo case

Harvey Weinstein enters the courthouse on July 11, 2019 in New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Lawyers for film producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday filed an appeal of his conviction for rape and another sex crime.

Weinstein, 69, was convicted in February 2020 after a trial in Manhattan Supreme Court.

He is serving a 23-year prison sentence in the case, which was tried two years after explosive allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein ignited the #MeToo movement that has continued to derail the careers of other high-profile men.

His lawyers in a court filing laid out seven grounds for overturning the conviction of the producer of films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Gangs of New York.”

They include the claim that Weinstein was denied his right to be tried by an impartial jury when the trial judge denied his challenge to bar a prospective juror who had written an autobiographical book about “the predations of older men against younger women, and who lied about the substance of the book during” jury selection.

Lawyers also argued that Weinstein was denied his right to a fair trial because defense experts were barred from testifying on certain matters, and that he received “a sentence that was harsh and excessive.”

The appeal is filed in the Appellate Division in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“We have filed a 166-page brief, outlining several serious mistakes made during the course of the trial,” Weinstein’s appellate lawyer Barry Kamins said in a statement to CNBC.

“We are confident that the Appellate Division will find these issues serious enough to require a reversal of the conviction,” Kamins said.

Jurors convicted Weinstein committing a first-degree criminal sexual act by forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006. He also was found guilty of third-degree rape for attacking aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.

Another lawyer for Weinstein, Arthur Aidala, said, “With a year behind us and emotions subsided, the transcript of the caseĀ confirms what we always believed: that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial.”

“We will argue that the trial judge disregarded well accepted and fundamental principles of New York law and violated Mr. Weinstein’sĀ constitutional rights. We have the utmost confidence that the AppellateĀ Division will correct these mistakes and send this case back before a different judge,” Aidala said.

– CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this article.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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