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Harvey Weinstein granted right to appeal rape conviction by New York's highest court


Former Hollywood movie producer, Harvey Weinstein has been granted the right to appeal by the New York State Court of Appeals on his rape conviction.

 The 70-year-old was found guilty in 2020 of rape and sentenced to 23 years. 

Weinstein insisted that his relations with the women were consensual, and will now be granted an appeal over claims witnesses were allowed to testify about alleged abuse that did not form part of the charges against Weinstein. 

 His lawyers further allege that one juror did not disclose they'd previously written a book on sexual predators, which Weinstein's team say should have disqualified them from serving.  

Wednesday's ruling, from New York State of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, means that oral arguments will be heard next year before the entire court, a court source told NBC News. 

 The court could uphold or overturn his conviction, and Weinstein may be free on bail awaiting any retrial.

 'Harvey lives to fight another day,' said his attorney, Arthur Aidala, speaking to Page Six. 

 In a subsequent statement issued through his lawyers, Weinstein added: 'I am innocent of these charges, and I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart of this. Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end.

'I look forward to this opportunity to be heard by the The New York Court of Appeals.' 

 Weinstein has spent the majority of the last two years in an upstate New York prison but is currently in a Los Angeles jail awaiting trial next month on 11 counts of rape and sexual assault.

 Aidala said they were grateful for the decision, which he said 'acknowledged the unique legal issues in this case.' 

 He added: 'We are hopeful the entire court will find that Mr Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and reverse his conviction.' 

Aidala said another issue was that 'there was one juror who has written a book about sexual predators that she lied about during jury selection.'

 He told Page Six: 'This isn't about whether [Weinstein] is innocent or guilty, but if he got a fair trial or not a fair trial. 

 'It's about whether the trial judge followed the law. We would hope we would get a decision in late spring, early summer of 2023.'

 Aidala said that Weinstein, who is now behind bars at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, was relieved to hear the decision. 

 'His mood was that of relief and he is very hopeful that these judges will rule that he did not get a fair trial. 

 'He has consistently maintained his innocence as he does today.' 

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