NEW YORK (AP) — Greater than a yr after Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction, his attorneys are demanding a brand new trial, arguing in court docket papers Monday that the landmark #MeToo prosecution that put him behind bars was buoyed by improper rulings from a decide who was “cavalier” in defending the disgraced film mogul’s proper to a good trial.
In a 166-page transient filed with a state appellate court docket, Weinstein’s attorneys took repeated goal at Manhattan Choose James Burke, arguing that he swayed the trial’s end result with repeated rulings favorable to prosecutors — together with a call permitting further accusers to testify about allegations that by no means led to prison prices.
Weinstein’s attorneys additionally challenged Burke’s refusal to take away a juror who had written a novel involving predatory older males, in addition to his choice to permit prosecutors to have an knowledgeable on sufferer habits and rape myths testify whereas rejecting testimony on comparable topics from protection consultants.
“Mr. Weinstein had a proper to a good trial by an neutral jury,” attorneys Barry Kamins, John Leventhal and Diana Fabi-Samson wrote within the transient.
“The trial court docket ought to have exercised the utmost vigilance in defending this most necessary proper of the defendant,” they wrote. “As an alternative, the trial court docket was cavalier in its obligation to safeguard this proper and the results for Mr. Weinstein have been disastrous.”
Weinstein, 69, was convicted in February 2020 of a prison intercourse act for forcibly performing oral intercourse on a TV and movie manufacturing assistant in 2006 and rape within the third diploma for an assault on an aspiring actress in 2013.
He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault stemming from actor Annabella Sciorra’s allegations of a mid-1990s rape — testimony that his attorneys stated Monday was so dated it ought to by no means have been allowed.
Burke sentenced Weinstein to 23 years in state jail, which his attorneys argued Monday was “unduly harsh and extreme.” Given his beforehand clear prison file, famend profession as an Oscar-winning film producer and historical past of charitable giving, Weinstein’s attorneys argued he deserved a considerably lighter sentence.
Weinstein can also be charged in California with assaulting 5 girls in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. His extradition has been delayed due to the pandemic. Weinstein examined constructive for the coronavirus shortly after arriving on the most safety Wende Correctional Facility close to Buffalo final spring.
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