A New York appellate court on Thursday upheld Harvey Weinstein’s sex crime convictions, rejecting the disgraced producer’s argument that a major #MeToo-era trial required heightened caution.
“Defendant suggests, without offering any support, that because of the enormous publicity generated by his trial and what he perceives as negative media coverage generated by the ‘#MeToo movement’ the court had a heightened obligation in the way it balanced prejudice against probativeness,” Judge Angela M. Mazzarelli, the opinion’s author, wrote.
She noted that trial judges have discretion as to where to draw the line.
New York Criminal Court Judge James Burke gave a fulsome airing of Weinstein’s charged and uncharged alleged misdeeds before a jury convicted him in 2020. Weinstein has been serving a 23-year sentence on one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree against former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and another for rape in the third degree against former actress Jessica Mann.
Since that verdict, Weinstein’s legal team leveled a variety of objections about the trial, including regarding a juror, an expert witness, and the judge—for admitting accusations that never resulted in a charge for any crime.
Each complaint was summarily rejected by Mazzarelli and a unanimous five-judge panel of New York’s Appellate Division, First Department.
Weinstein’s counsel claimed a juror misled them about a novel she was writing titled Age of Consent, but the judges found that the work of fiction bore little semblance to the facts of the case.
“To be sure, Juror 11’s own website and her publisher’s website, in describing her novel as being about the young female protagonists’ struggles with ‘predatory older men,’ contradicted her statements during jury selection that the book was not about such men,” the 45-page