Harvey Weinstein makes first court appearance since acquittal

Disgraced former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein appeared haggard and was handcuffed to his wheelchair at a Manhattan criminal courthouse Wednesday, his first time in public since New York’s highest appeals court overturned the sex crimes conviction against him.

Wearing a smart blue suit and tie with a US flag pin, the ex movie mogul was wheeled by a court officer into the room.

During a brief hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court a new judge assigned to the case, Justice Curtis Farber, took the first steps toward setting a new date for the 72-year-old “Pulp Fiction” producer to face a re-trial in the Empire State.

Harvey Weinstein made his first appearance in court since his sex crimes conviction was overturned last week. Steven Hirsch

Manhattan District Attorney’s Alvin Bragg looked on from the front row as prosecutors in his office told Farber they could be ready as soon as September to try the case for a second time.

“We believe in this case and will be retrying this case,” prosecutor Nicole Blumberg said. “We want to try it as quickly as possible.”

“We have every belief that he will be convicted again after the trial,” Blumberg said.

The notorious sex pest had first been convicted in 2020 and had been serving a 23-year sentence at an upstate New York prison for forcibly performing oral sex on former “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi in 2006, and sexually assaulting hairstylist Jessica Mann in 2013.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office have the option to retry the case. Steven Hirsch

But in a 4-3 ruling, the New York State Court of Appeals last month found that Weinstein had not received a fair trial — in a decision immediately blasted by his victims as like “pulling a scab off” their wounds.

Blumberg noted Mann was present in the first row of the courtroom gallery and said: “she’s here today to show that she will not be backing down.”

“The defendant may have power and the privilege, but she has the truth,” Blumberg said.

Meanwhile, Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala told the judge: “He’s sharp as a tack. He’s as smart as he ever was.”

New York state judges Jenny Rivera, Rowan Wilson, Betsy Barros and Christine Clark found the judge overseeing Weinstein’s trial — which was held at a boiling point of the #MeToo movement — “erroneously” allowed three women whose allegations weren’t directly connected to the case to testify.

Weinstein is not elligible to be released on bail as he was separately sentenced in 2023 to 16 years in prison in Los Angeles for raping an Italian model a decade earlier.

At the New York trial, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young all took the stand as “prior bad acts” witnesses, recounting how Weinstein preyed on them with sexual harassment while they were young, aspiring actresses hoping to make a big break.

But judges Rivera, Wilson, Barros and Clark all claimed in their decision that allowing jurors to hear about Weinstein’s past misdeeds was not relevant enough to override how it “prejudiced” the jury against him.

Their decision was ripped in a scathing dissent from Judge Madeline Singas, who pointed out Weinstein’s litany of past allegations of leveraging his post as a Hollywood kingmaker to harass women was in fact very relevant for jurors deciding on his intent to carry out the sex crimes he was convicted of.

“The majority’s determination perpetuates outdated notions of sexual violence and allows predators to escape accountability,” Singas wrote.

Weinstein’s 23-year sentence was also overturned. But he still faces prison time on a Los Angeles conviction. via REUTERS

The ruling also “deprives juries of the context necessary to do their work, forecloses the prosecution from using any essential tool to prove intent… and demonstrates the majority’s utter lack of understanding of the dynamics of sexual assault,” she added.

Weinstein is currently being held at Bellevue Hospital’s prison ward, receiving treatment for an undisclosed health condition.

He had been transferred at first to a special cell unit at Rikers Island for inmates dealing with health issues — but he lasted a single night at the city lockup before being transferred to the hospital.

Weinstein has filed a notice of appeal in his Los Angeles case, which is still pending, but prosecutors have clarified their conviction cannot be overturned for the same reasons as the New York case, owing to different rules on who can testify in California sex assault trials.

Additional reporting by Kyle Schnitzer

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