A five-judge panel heard oral arguments regarding Harvey Weinstein’s conviction appeal Wednesday.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department, did not make a ruling at the court hearing. A ruling on Weinstein’s appeal is expected in roughly four weeks.
Weinstein’s defense team filed an appeal in April. His lawyers filed a 166-page appeal at the time, claiming Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke “woefully neglected” to ensure a fair trial.
The panel of judges was most interested in justice James Burke’s ruling to allow Molineux witnesses to testify in Weinstein’s trial.
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein listens in court during a pre-trial hearing on July 29, 2021. Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting five women in Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013. (ETIENNE LAURENT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Defense attorney Barry Kamins argued the use of Molineux witnesses in Weinstein’s cases was “unusual.” Three women testified in Weinstein’s trial about uncharged crimes.
“The issue was whether the possible acts happened at all, not what the intent of Weinstein was,” Kamins told the judges during the defense’s allotted time.
The assistant district attorney Valerie Figueredo claimed the use of testimony from three women “was directly probative of the defendant’s state of mind,” when asked by the panel. “It indicated his knowledge that the women were not consenting to sexual acts simply because they had agreed to be alone with him, simply because they had come to him for professional assistance.”
“Why wasn’t that accomplished with the three women who were complainants?” a judge asked. “That for me is the problem. You already have three women who give you three different types of stories of the horror they allegedly experienced with him. I think you’ve covered that. So, to pile on with three uncharged complainants, three uncharged victims, is leaning really close to that propensity line.”
A five-judge panel heard oral arguments regarding Weinstein’s appeal of his rape conviction in New York City. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Weinstein’s defense team also brought up the issue of juror number 11, claiming she had “misled the court,” in fact “lied,” and that she had financial motivations- referencing the fact that the juror had published a book about the predations of older men against younger women.
Assistant district attorney Figueredo rebutted the claim, saying there is “no evidence” that juror number 11 lied.
“There is no evidence in this record that juror number 11 lied about the subject matter of her book,” she said during court.
“She wasn’t completely candid,” a judge responded. “At the very least, you have to admit that.”
In this courtroom drawing, Harvey Weinstein, center, sits at the defense table surrounded by his attorneys as jurors file out of the courtroom after being told by the judge to go back and keep deliberating in Weinstein’s rape case on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York. (AP, File)
Weinstein, 69, was convicted in New York City in February 2020 and later sentenced to 23 years in prison. Regardless of the outcome, he still faces an 11-count indictment in California that includes rape and sexual battery involving five incidents that allegedly took place between 2004 and 2013. If convicted in Los Angeles, he faces up to 140 years behind bars.
Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report.