Harvey Weinstein's 2020 Rape Conviction Overturned by Appeals Court

The New York Court of Appeals overturned Harvey Weinstein's 2020 rape conviction April 25, concluding the judge let women testify with allegations that were not part of the specific case.

By Jess Cohen Apr 25, 2024 2:14 PMTags
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One of Harvey Weinstein's legal cases has taken an unexpected turn.

The New York Court of Appeals announced April 25 that the disgraced film producer's 2020 rape conviction has been overturned, ordering a new trial for Weinstein, who was previously sentenced to 23 years in prison in the case.

In the decision, obtained by E! News, the state's highest court concluded that the "trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes because that testimony served no material non-propensity purpose."

Shortly after the announcement was made public, Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala told the New York Times the decision was "not just a victory for Mr. Weinstein, but for every criminal defendant in the state of New York, and we compliment the Court of Appeals for upholding the most basic principles that a criminal defendant should have in a trial."

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Meanwhile, a Manhattan DA spokesperson vowed in a statement to NBC News, "We will do everything in our power to retry this case, and remain steadfast in our commitment to survivors of sexual assault."


Back in 2020, Weinstein, now 72, received 20 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision for criminal sexual act in the first degree, as well as three years in prison with five years of post-release supervision for rape in the third degree, NBC News reported at the time. He was also ordered to serve these sentences consecutively.

Separately, in February 2023, Weinstein was sentenced by a Los Angeles jury to 16 years in prison for one count of forcible rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Ashley Judd, who was not involved in these cases but previously shared harassment allegations against Weinstein amid the #MeToo movement, shared her disappointment in the New York court's decision.

"That is unfair to survivors," she told the NYT April 25. "We still live in our truth. And we know what happened."

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.