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Harvey Weinstein prosecutors aim for fall retrial after N.Y. rape conviction is overturned

The disgraced movie mogul looked gaunt as he entered a hearing in New York in a wheelchair.
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Prosecutors said Wednesday they are aiming to retry Harvey Weinstein in the fall after a New York appeals court overturned his 2020 rape conviction.

Weinstein appeared before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Curtis Farber around 2:15 p.m., his first appearance since his conviction was overturned.

He entered the court in a wheelchair, looking gaunt.

A Weinstein accuser, former aspiring actor Jessica Mann, sat in the second row, a few seats from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Mann accused Weinstein of raping her in a New York City hotel in 2013.

Much of the discussion centered on whether Weinstein should be released and whether there will be a new trial. 

Weinstein’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, asked that Weinstein be allowed to stay in the hospital where he was receiving treatment. 

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg asked that he remain in custody.

"It was a strong case, and he was convicted and sentenced to 23 years. ... It remains a strong case," Blumberg said.

Blumberg told the judge that they "will retry the case."

"We think early fall date, possibly as early as September, for a trial," she said.

Farber remanded Weinstein back to Bellevue Hospital for treatment and set a discovery hearing for 10 a.m. May 29.

The state Court of Appeals overturned his conviction Thursday in a 4-3 decision, and he was hospitalized days later for a battery of tests.

The Court of Appeals found that the judge in the landmark #MeToo trial had prejudiced Weinstein with improper rulings, including a decision to let women testify about allegations that weren’t part of the case.

The court said that the "trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts" and that the "testimony served no material non-propensity purpose." It said the court "compounded that error" when it ruled that Weinstein, who had no criminal history, could be cross-examined "about those allegations as well as numerous allegations of misconduct that portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light."

Judge Jenny Rivera, writing for the majority, called the errors "egregious" and said the remedy was a new trial. In his dissent, Judge Anthony Cannataro wrote that the court's decision was an "unfortunate step backwards."

Many of Weinstein's accusers expressed shock and disappointment with the reversal. Bragg said he planned to retry the case.

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court
Harvey Weinstein in court in Los Angeles in 2022.Etienne Laurent / AFP - Getty Images file

Weinstein, 72, had been serving a 23-year sentence in New York’s Mohawk Correctional Facility after he was found guilty of forcibly performing oral sex on a television and film production assistant in 2006 and third-degree rape for an attack on an aspiring actor in 2013.

On Friday, he was transferred to a medical ward at Rikers Island jail in New York City. The next day, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a more thorough exam after doctors checked him out at Rikers, said Aidala, his attorney.

Aidala said Weinstein "needs a lot of help physically" and has "a lot of problems."

Weinstein’s spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, said last week that he uses a walker and a wheelchair and has audio and heart issues.

Weinstein was convicted of rape in Los Angeles in 2022 and sentenced to 16 years in prison. He was acquitted of one count of sexual battery in that case.

Engelmayer said last week that Weinstein may be extradited to California. His legal team is appealing that case.