Harvey Weinstein Will Face New Rape Trial, Manhattan D.A. Announces At First Hearing Since 2020 Conviction Was Overturned

“We believe in this case, and we will be retrying this case,” prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape case told a judge today in the first hearing since the much-accused producer’s 2020 conviction was overturned last week. “It was a strong case in 2020 …and it remains a strong case in 2024,” added Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg.

Weinstein was sitting in the courtroom as the officials from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced their intention to take the case back to a jury. The trial could begin as quickly as September, if room can be found on the court calendar.

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“We are happy to hear that the prosecutors want a speedy trial,” Weinstein chief attorney Arthur Aidala told the court as he once again proclaimed his client’s innocence. “It’s a new trial, it’s a new day … his life is on the line.”

Charged and arrested for rape in May 2018 after revelations by the New York Times in late 2017 detailing decades of abuse and alleged assaults by Weinstein, the defendant was convicted in February 2020 on first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape after allegations by two women, Mimi Haley and Jessica Mann.

While not handling the case directly, Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg himself was in attendance Wednesday in Judge Curtis Farber’s court, as was attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Haley and Mann.

In fact, Mann was brought directly into today’s proceedings when Assistant D.A. Blumberg, who is the head of the office’s Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Bureau, pointed to her in the courtroom. “She’s here today to show she’s not backing down … the defendant may have power and privilege but she has the truth.”

“Good afternoon Mr. Weinstein,” said Judge Farber as the wheelchair bound producer was brought into the courtroom around 11:23 a.m. PT. Almost seconds after his client was seated at the defense table, lead lawyer Aidala addressed the court with objections to photos being taken in the courtroom.

Despite all the lead-up, today’s hearing was over in less than 20 minutes. Weinstein did not speak once during the session.

The next hearing in the case has been set now for May 29. Weinstein is expected to be present.

Harvey Weinstein looks on during a preliminary hearing inside the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein looks on during a preliminary hearing inside the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Under medical supervision at Bellevue Hospital since the weekend, a blue-suited Weinstein was wheeled into the Manhattan court building around 10:15 am PT. Looking gaunter than he did at his 2022 LA trial, Weinstein’s blazer still had the price tag on it as he was brought in surrounded by heavily armed police. By the time Weinstein arrived in the courtroom proper, the price tag on his sleeve had been removed.

Announced less than a day after New York state’s Appeals Court in a 4-3 vote overturned 72-year old Weinstein’s 2020 sex crimes conviction which resulted in sex offender status and 23-year sentence, the intention of today’s hearing was to release Weinstein from his conviction of four years ago. Coming off long delayed oral arguments in February, the Appeals Court agreed with Weinstein’s lawyers in last week’s order. At the heart of overturning the conviction was a determination, led by Judge Jenny Rivera writing for the majority, that the inclusion of Prior Bad Acts testimony by now ex-Justice James Burke from a number of women on uncharged assault and abuse accusations was prejudicial in the 2020 trial.

With a new trial ordered by the Empire State’s highest court, the hearing in Judge Farber’s courtroom also re-arraigned Weinstein on the sex crimes charges for which he was originally arrested in 2018.

Still, due to his 2022 conviction on sex crimes in the City of Angels and sentencing to 16 years behind bars, Weinstein will not be released after Wednesday’s hearing. Instead, having been moved from the medium security Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate New York late last week, the ailing Oscar-winning producer will be returned to Bellevue, at least in the short term.

In preparation for a new trial, Weinstein will likely remain in NYC to be close to his core legal team of Aidala and Diana Sampson. As was the case in the immediate aftermath of his sentencing four years ago and ever so briefly last week, Weinstein could be transferred to the notorious Rikers Island as the wheels of justice grind on.

There is no expectation in the short term that Weinstein will be sent out to LA to serve his West Coast sentencing. Insiders at LA County District Attorney George Gascón’s office tell Deadline there is “no need” for such a transfer right now.

In that vein, even before today’s hearing, Manhattan District Attorney Bragg’s office strongly indicated they wanted to take the case to a new trial “We will do everything in our power to retry this case, and remain steadfast in our commitment to survivors of sexual assault,” the D.A.’s office said on April 25, and reiterated on April 26.

Also on April 26, Haley said at an LA press conference in Allred’s office that she was “sick to her stomach” upon learning of Weinstein’s conviction being overturned by the New York Appeals Court. Coming forward just over seven years ago to say she was raped by Weinstein in his SoHo apartment in 2006, Haley was a major witness at the 2020 trial.

Whether she will be a witness in a second NYC Weinstein trial is unknown right now.

“I definitely don’t want to actually go through that again,” the Allred-represented Haley said in an LA press conference late last week. “But for the sake of keeping going and doing the right thing, because it is what happened, I would consider it,” she went on to say.

Attorney Gloria Allred outside a Manhattan criminal courtroom before Harvey Weinstein’s hearing today in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Attorney Gloria Allred outside a Manhattan criminal courtroom before Harvey Weinstein’s hearing today in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The presence of Allred at today’s hearing implies that Haley may be very seriously considering taking the stand again at a second NYC Weinstein trial.

The circus atmosphere and high security that has enveloped the Manhattan Criminal Courts building in recent weeks due to Donald Trump’s so-called hush money trial was greatly diminished. Wednesdays have been a dark day for the DA-prosecuted case over whether the $130,000 the former Celebrity Apprentice host paid to porn star Stormy Daniels to bury the news of their alleged affair just before the 2016 election. Hence, Trump and his army of lawyers were nowhere to be seen.

In addition to the New York criminal case heading for a new trial and an appeal of his LA conviction, Weinstein has a plethora of civil cases pending against him for alleged attacks and rapes over the past 30 years.

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