Harvey Weinstein back in court | Prosecutors promise new conviction

(New York) Former Hollywood producer King Harvey Weinstein returned to the New York court on Wednesday, where he faced one of his accusers and prosecutors determined to obtain a new guilty verdict, after the resounding annulment of his conviction for rape and sexual assault.

The all-powerful former producer of American cinema, 72, appeared diminished, pushed on a wheelchair in a courtroom of the Manhattan court, where he smiled and greeted his few supporters.

Still incarcerated, because he also received 16 years in prison in Los Angeles in 2023 for rape and sexual assault, this is the first time he has returned to justice since the annulment last week by a court of appeal of his sentence to 23 years in prison in New York in 2020.

This turnaround was experienced as an affront and a step backwards for the #metoo movement against sexist violence against women, because the revelations in 2017 on sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein had triggered a planetary shock wave and freed people to speak out. many victims.


In the courtroom sat Jessica Mann, one of the two accusers for whom Harvey Weinstein was convicted in the first trial.

“We believe in this case, that’s why Jessica Mann is here today,” said Manhattan prosecutor Nicole Blumberg.

“We have every reason to believe that the accused will be found guilty again” during a second trial, added the representative of the public prosecutor.

Outside the courtroom, Gloria Allred, lawyer for the other accuser, Mimi Haley, said her client had “not yet made a decision about whether to testify at a retrial.” .

“The overturning of the conviction was a new trauma for her… She is still thinking about it,” she added.

During the hearing, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, recalled that at the time, his client “had been acquitted of the heaviest charges”, in particular of the aggravating circumstance of “predatory” behavior.

From champagne to chips

He requested the release of his client, refused by the judge, Curtis Farber, who postponed the case for several months, after the Labor Day holiday, September 4, and without setting a specific date. In the meantime, a new procedural hearing has been set for May 29.

In front of journalists, the lawyer assured that his client’s place was not in prison. “He was used to drinking champagne and eating caviar, now he buys chips at the commissary” of the prison, he lamented.

The former producer was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the sexual assault of former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and the rape of aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

During this highly publicized trial, both a symbol and a test for the #metoo movement, several other women accusing Harvey Weinstein of similar acts, but who could not be prosecuted criminally, had testified.

However, according to the New York Court of Appeal, testimonies from other alleged victims had been admitted “incorrectly” and had “painted a highly prejudicial image” of the accused. According to the court, “the solution to these shocking errors is a new trial.”

The appeals court was divided on the issue, with four judges ruling in favor of the annulment and three against, after a lively debate.

“The court continues to thwart the regular victories for which survivors of sexual violence have fought,” lamented Madeline Singas, one of the judges who ruled against the annulment. According to her, women “who carry the trauma of sexual violence” have been “forgotten”.

More than 80 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment, sexual assault or rape, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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