Harvey Weinstein Will Face Retrial in New York Rape Case After Overturned Conviction

Harvey Weinstein will be tried again for rape in New York this fall after his 2020 conviction was overturned last month, Reuters reports.

Weinstein appeared in Manhattan court Wednesday, May 1, seated in a wheelchair. It marked the first time the disgraced movie mogul had been seen in public since he was found guilty of rape in Los Angeles and sentenced to 16 years in prison last February.

During the hearing, prosecutor Nicole Blumberg said, “We believe in this case and we will be retrying the case.” Weinstein’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, said his client was battling various health problems, such as diabetes and cardiac issues, but remained “sharp as a tack,” according to The Associated Press.

In a statement shared with Rolling Stone, Aidala said of the retrial: “With this new judge who enjoys the reputation of being very fair, combined with the court of appeals ruling which does not allow the prosecutor to call any propensity witnesses as they did last time, we are cautiously optimistic that we will prevail.”

In the 77-page decision, the New York Court of Appeals — by a count of 4-to-3 — ruled to overturn the conviction, stating that the judge who oversaw Weinstein’s New York trial, Justice James M. Burke, should not have allowed prosecutors to let accusers whose allegations were not part of the charges against him to testify in the trial.

Following the appeals court ruling, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg pledged to — with the victims’ cooperation — retry the case against Weinstein, who has spent the past week in a New York-area prison hospital undergoing “all kinds of tests” related to his health. At Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors reiterated their desire for a retrial.

“At the Manhattan D.A.’s Office, our Special Victims Division fights each and every day to center survivors, uplift their voices, and seek justice for these horrific crimes,” a spokesperson for Bragg said in a statement last week. “Our mission is to center survivors’ experiences and wellbeing in every decision we make, which we will do as we approach the next steps in this case.”

Weinstein’s spokesperson Juda Engelmayer said in a statement on Saturday, “We are cautiously optimistic and are prepared to go to trial, if it comes to that. There are fewer charges now and the deck isn’t going to be illegally stacked against him. While we all enjoy the same rights when it comes to our justice system, a defendant has an additional right to due process. We are glad the Appeals Court judges saw it that way.”

If a retrial is granted, it will take place under the watch of a new District Attorney’s office — in 2021, Bragg replaced Cyrus Vance, who brought the case against Weinstein — as well as a new judge, as Judge James Burke, who presided over Weinstein’s New York trial, is no longer on the bench.


Even though his New York conviction was overturned, Weinstein is still not a free man as he was also sentenced to an 18-year prison sentence on rape charges in California, a sentence that was to begin after his 23-year term at an upstate New York prison ended. If the New York appeal holds up and no retrial is granted, Weinstein would begin serving the California sentence immediately. However, Weinstein’s lawyers have an appeal brief on the California conviction scheduled for May 20.

“We’re grateful that he’s going to remain in jail, at least until he’s almost 90, because of the L.A. trial,” Weinstein accuser Lauren Sivan told Rolling Stone following the New York appeal. “But my heart goes out to those who testified in New York who really had to repeat the trauma that he put them all through. Those are really brave women who came forward and took the stand. And the idea that they might have to do it all over again is really heartbreaking. It’s like picking a scab off a wound for these women who might have to go through this all over again.”