The former film producer Harvey Weinstein, sentenced in March 2020 to 23 years in prison for sexual assault and imprisoned since, appealed this sentence on Monday, believing that his rights of defense have not been respected .
In an appeal to the New York State Supreme Court, his lawyers argue that several women were allowed to testify at trial about alleged assaults against Harvey Weinstein, even as the facts put forward were prescribed or insufficiently substantiated to be prosecutable, according to the defense.
Six women had testified for the prosecution at the high-profile New York City trial, claiming the ex-Hollywood mogul sexually assaulted them.
If the former producer was accused of harassment or sexual assault by nearly 90 women, he was however only prosecuted for two assaults during the hearings: a rape of an aspiring actress, Jessica Mann, in 2013, and a forced cunnilingus on ex-production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006.
Doubts about a juror
In their 166-page appeal, Harvey Weinstein's lawyers also argue that one of the jurors, author of a book on men with predatory behavior on young women, had compromised the supposed impartiality of the jury.
They also deplored not being able to call their expert in sexual assault to the bar, even though the defense had been able to quote Barbara Ziv.
This doctor had explained at length to jurors that victims of sexual assault often continued to see their attacker.
This was the case with the two victims of Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein case: two lawyers at the heart of the trial
The defense also affirms that the judge imposed on the ex-producer, with a clean criminal record until then, an “excessively heavy” sentence because of his fame and the media coverage of the case.
Harvey Weinstein was finally convicted of rape and sexual assault in February 2020, in a verdict seen as a resounding victory for the #MeToo movement.
The 69-year-old ex-producer, incarcerated in a high-security prison in upstate New York, has also been charged with rape and sexual assault on five women by the Los Angeles attorney's office.
A hearing to find out whether he should be extradited to answer these charges is scheduled for April 12.