Harvey Weinstein was in a “stranglehold” in the course of his trial because prosecutors had been allowed to go over a quantity of accusations that had very little to do with the costs, a attorney for the disgraced producer claimed on Wednesday in Manhattan appeals courtroom. “The jury was overcome by these kinds of prejudicial, lousy proof. This was a trial of Harvey Weinstein’s character — that people today ended up producing him out to be a bad individual,” Barry Kamins instructed a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division, Very first Judicial Office. “Even if the [prosecution] had effectively determined a correct basis for admission of prior functions — which it did not — [the] probative worth was obviously outweighed by its prejudicial impact.”
“He was in a legal vise in this case,” Kamins mentioned.
Weinstein was convicted of felony sexual act in the first diploma and rape in the third diploma on February 24, 2020, just after a virtually 7-week demo. He was identified guilty of sexually assaulting two women: Jessica Mann and Mimi Haleyi. Mann, who when aspired to be an actress, mentioned during her testimony that Weinstein raped her at a Midtown East hotel in early 2013. Haleyi testified that Weinstein utilised pressure to accomplish oral intercourse on her in the summer time of 2006 at his Soho apartment.
Weinstein, now 69, was identified not guilty of just one initially-degree-rape depend and two predatory-sexual-assault counts. On March 11, 2020, Justice James Burke sentenced Weinstein to 23 decades in prison. Weinstein’s lawyers filed their charm on April 5, 2021, battling both equally his conviction and sentence. Their argument, both of those in the appeals paperwork and today’s proceedings, are mostly based on statements that Burke was completely wrong to permit prosecutors to introduce so a lot evidence about Weinstein’s alleged prior bad functions. These uncharged allegations of sexual misconduct bundled testimony from Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Youthful.
“As a result, Mr. Weinstein was attempted not only for alleged legal acts charged in the indictment, but also for his alleged propensity to behave in approaches that evinced licentiousness in his interactions with women of all ages,” Weinstein’s lawyers wrote in their just about 190-page attractiveness. Valerie Figueredo, an appeals attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Business, argued that testimony from Youthful, Dunning, and Wulff was “directly probative of [Weinstein’s] point out of thoughts.”
“It indicated his awareness that the women have been not consenting to sexual acts simply just because they experienced agreed to be by itself with him, merely mainly because they experienced occur to him for qualified assistance,” she explained. Judges on the panel repeatedly pressed Figueredo to make clear how bringing in so many uncharged poor acts did not tilt the scales from Weinstein. “Here occur 3 other gals who assert I did the exact same point to them, but I’m not being charged with that — that’s prejudicial,” one particular judge remarked. “You know what? There are trials each individual working day where by we have defendants who have a rap sheet a mile extensive — a mile extended they’ll have 20 felony convictions on their rap sheet — and I’ve observed no decide say, ‘Go in advance go to city on all of them,’” a further judge commented, seemingly expressing skepticism about how a great deal Burke allowed. “They normally just let just one or two in.”
Weinstein’s legal professionals have also claimed that Burke erred in letting a lady sit on the jury who had penned a novel that involved predatory more mature guys. They contended in appeals papers that Weinstein was “denied his constitutional correct to be tried out by an neutral jury” as a consequence of this juror.
“Juror No. 11’s fixation with issues of consent and predatory more mature adult males, and her absence of candor about it, raises troubling thoughts about whether she prejudged Mr. Weinstein’s guilt and no matter whether she experienced a particular agenda to see him convicted,” they argued in appeals papers. They claimed her presence “single-handedly obliterated” the judicial process. “When this decide refused to discharge this juror, it was a reversible mistake,” Kamins said all through today’s proceedings.
Weinstein is currently jailed in Los Angeles, in which he is dealing with sexual-assault costs.