Harvey Weinstein was in a “stranglehold” all through his demo because prosecutors ended up authorized to focus on a amount of accusations that experienced nothing at all to do with the charges, a law firm for the disgraced producer claimed on Wednesday in Manhattan appeals court. “The jury was confused by these prejudicial, negative evidence. This was a demo of Harvey Weinstein’s character — that persons ended up earning him out to be a terrible individual,” Barry Kamins advised a 5-choose panel of the Appellate Division, Initial Judicial Section. “Even if the [prosecution] had properly determined a appropriate foundation for admission of prior acts — which it did not — [the] probative price was obviously outweighed by its prejudicial effect.”
“He was in a lawful vise in this case,” Kamins stated.
Weinstein was convicted of criminal sexual act in the 1st diploma and rape in the third degree on February 24, 2020, following a just about 7-week demo. He was identified responsible of sexually assaulting two women of all ages: Jessica Mann and Mimi Haleyi. Mann, who the moment aspired to be an actress, explained in the course of her testimony that Weinstein raped her at a Midtown East hotel in early 2013. Haleyi testified that Weinstein applied pressure to carry out oral sexual intercourse on her in the summer time of 2006 at his Soho condominium.
Weinstein, now 69, was identified not responsible of a person very first-diploma-rape depend and two predatory-sexual-assault counts. On March 11, 2020, Justice James Burke sentenced Weinstein to 23 yrs in jail. Weinstein’s legal professionals filed their enchantment on April 5, 2021, fighting both equally his conviction and sentence. Their argument, both of those in the appeals paperwork and today’s proceedings, are largely based on statements that Burke was completely wrong to allow prosecutors to introduce so significantly evidence about Weinstein’s alleged prior terrible acts. These uncharged allegations of sexual misconduct included testimony from Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Youthful.
“As a consequence, Mr. Weinstein was tried not only for alleged criminal acts charged in the indictment, but also for his alleged propensity to behave in ways that evinced licentiousness in his relationships with gals,” Weinstein’s legal professionals wrote in their approximately 190-web page enchantment. Valerie Figueredo, an appeals lawyer with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, argued that testimony from Youthful, Dunning, and Wulff was “directly probative of [Weinstein’s] point out of intellect.”
“It indicated his expertise that the women of all ages had been not consenting to sexual acts only simply because they experienced agreed to be by itself with him, simply since they had occur to him for skilled help,” she mentioned. Judges on the panel repeatedly pressed Figueredo to clarify how bringing in so many uncharged poor acts did not tilt the scales against Weinstein. “Here come 3 other women of all ages who assert I did the same thing to them, but I’m not being billed with that — that is prejudicial,” a single choose remarked. “You know what? There are trials every single working day wherever we have defendants who have a rap sheet a mile extensive — a mile extensive they’ll have 20 felony convictions on their rap sheet — and I’ve witnessed no decide say, ‘Go in advance go to city on all of them,’” one more decide commented, seemingly expressing skepticism in excess of how significantly Burke authorized. “They typically just allow 1 or two in.”
Weinstein’s legal professionals have also claimed that Burke erred in permitting a female sit on the jury who had created a novel that concerned predatory more mature males. They contended in appeals papers that Weinstein was “denied his constitutional right to be tried using by an impartial jury” as a result of this juror.
“Juror No. 11’s fixation with matters of consent and predatory more mature adult males, and her deficiency of candor about it, raises troubling queries about whether or not she prejudged Mr. Weinstein’s guilt and no matter if she had a personal agenda to see him convicted,” they argued in appeals papers. They claimed her presence “single-handedly obliterated” the judicial procedure. “When this judge refused to discharge this juror, it was a reversible mistake,” Kamins claimed in the course of today’s proceedings.
Weinstein is currently jailed in Los Angeles, exactly where he is dealing with sexual-assault charges.