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Harvey Weinstein will be retried in New York after rape conviction overturned

Harvey Weinstein will be retried in New York after rape conviction overturned
Harvey Weinstein leaves the courtroom at New York City criminal court during his sex crimes trial on January 7, 2020 in New York City. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

May 1 (Reuters) - Harvey Weinstein will be retried in New York, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said on Wednesday, a week after the state's highest court threw out his 2020 rape conviction.

By Brendan Pierson and Jack Queen

Weinstein appeared in court before Judge Curtis Farber, more than four years after his conviction was hailed as a milestone for the #MeToo movement, in which women accused hundreds of men in entertainment, media, politics and other fields of sexual misconduct.

“There was nothing consensual about this conduct,” prosecutor Nicole Blumberg said. “We believe in this case and will be retrying this case.”

Weinstein, 72, who appeared in a wheelchair, had been serving a 23-year sentence in a prison in upstate Rome, New York. He then was transferred to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan following last week’s order, according to his spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, asked that his client be released on bail, saying he is suffering severe health problems and noting that he had been acquitted of first-degree rape.

“He was acquitted on the most serious counts,” Aidala said.

In February 2020, jurors in Manhattan convicted Weinstein of sexually assaulting former production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006 and of raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013. They are among more than 80 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

The conviction included charges of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape. Weinstein, who has denied having non-consensual sexual encounters with anyone, was acquitted on other charges.

Last week, the New York Court of Appeals found that Judge James Burke, who presided over the trial, made a critical mistake by allowing three women to testify about alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein that were not part of the criminal charges against him. The court said this “prior bad acts” testimony violated his right to a fair trial.

Weinstein was also sentenced to 16 years following his separate rape trial in California. The two sentences cannot be served concurrently.

Burke is no longer on the bench, so any New York retrial would be before a different judge.

Weinstein co-founded the Miramax film studio, whose hit movies included “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction.” His own eponymous film studio filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Jonathan Oatis)

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