The New York Court of Appeals upheld Harvey Weinstein’s sentence for rape and sexual assault, dismissing the disgraced producer’s claims that the judge made several mistakes that ruined the trial.
Weinstein appealed his sentence in February 2020 and a 23-year prison sentence for assaulting former assistant producer Mimi Haley and raping former budding actress Jessica Mann.
“We refuse [the] the defendant’s arguments and uphold the verdict in all respects, ”a unanimous panel of five judges from the Manhattan Appeals Division said Thursday, finding no errors that would justify overturning the verdict or Weinstein’s verdict.
Weinstein’s spokesman Judas Engelmeier said the disgraced film mogul would appeal the decision to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.
“We are disappointed and sad for Mr. Weinstein,” Engelmeier said.
The verdict was considered landmark in the #MeToo movement, where women came out to accuse dozens of influential men of sexual abuse. Many see the accusations against Weinstein, which surfaced in 2017, as a key light of this movement.
The 70-year-old Weinstein denies any sexual contact without consent.
He cited seven arguments for overturning the verdict, including that the rape allegations were based on a lack of evidence.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose predecessor Cyrus Vance first accused Weinstein, welcomed Thursday’s decision and said he was “grateful to those who survived the case for their outstanding courage and sincerity.”
Weinstein is in jail in California, where he was extradited last year. He is awaiting trial on 11 charges of alleged misconduct against five women in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles. His lawyers there argue that some charges should be dropped due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.