Harvey Weinstein must face new New York trial this autumn

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein remains jailed on a separate rape conviction in California [Getty Images]

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein will face a new trial in the autumn after his state rape conviction was overturned, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Manhattan prosecutors told the packed court: "We believe in this case and will be retrying this case."

An appeals court ruled last week that Weinstein did not receive a fair trial in 2020.

But he remains jailed because of a separate rape conviction in California.

Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison in that case.

At the court in New York on Wednesday, prosecutors said they would be ready to retry the case by September.

At the start of proceedings, Weinstein was brought in in a wheelchair, wearing a navy-blue suit and a light blue tie.

He appeared to be in good spirits, and smiled and waved to his team.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg told the judge that one of Weinstein's victims was also in court.

She said the "sexual assault survivor" was there "to show she's not backing down and is here to make sure justice is served once again. He may have power and privilege, but she has the truth."

The judge overseeing the case ruled that Weinstein's retrial will happen sometime after the Labour Day holiday on 2 September.

Last week, the New York state appeals court ruled that the judge overseeing the former Hollywood mogul's case had erred when he allowed the testimony of women who made allegations about Weinstein for which he was never charged.

The judge had "erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes", the appeals court ruled by a vote of 4 to 3.

The decision also said the trial judge compounded the error by letting Weinstein be cross-examined in a way that portrayed him in a "highly prejudicial" light.

"The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial," the court found.

Weinstein has always maintained his innocence and his defence team said at the time of the New York trial that sex between the movie executive and accusers was consensual.

Arthur Aidala, the movie mogul's lawyer, hailed the decision as a "victory for every criminal defendant in the state of New York".

Weinstein was taken to hospital a few days ago for what his lawyer described as "immediate medical attention" and "a myriad of tests".

A court sketch of Jessica Mann
Weinstein was convicted of raping Jessica Mann in the 2020 trial [Reuters]

He could be sent to the city's Rikers Island prison, or possibly to California to serve time there.

Juda Engelmawer, a spokesman for Weinstein, told BBC News that his health condition has worsened in prison, but he is elated to have had his conviction vacated.

"He was relieved that the court saw it the way we did - that the trial wasn't fair," he said outside court.

"But he acknowledges his long road ahead of him."

Mr Engelmawer added that Weinstein hopes to remain in New York pending re-trial, in order to be nearer to his family and doctors.

In court, his lawyer argued that despite his health issues, Weinstein is "sharp as a tack, smart as he ever was".

Mr Aidala said that his client had read hundreds of books, so he had no concerns about his mental ability to participate in his legal defence.

At his New York trial in 2020, Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, in 2013. He was sentenced to 23 years.

Ms Haleyi has said she has reservations about returning to court again to attempt to re-convict Weinstein.

"It was retraumatising and gruelling and exhausting and all the things," she said at a news conference on Friday.

"I definitely don't want to actually go through that again. But for the sake of keeping going and doing the right thing and because it is what happened, I would consider it."

File image of Mimi Haleyi
Mimi Haleyi has said she would "consider" returning to court for a retrial [Getty Images]

Ms Haleyi did not attend Wednesday's hearing in New York, but her attorney Gloria Allred appeared in court.

Speaking to press after the hearing, Ms. Allred said her client was still thinking about testifying again, but "it's not an easy decision for her." Prosecutors in California say Weinstein's conviction for raping a woman in 2013 will stand up to any appeals challenge.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct, assault and rape by over 100 women.

The decision by his accusers to come forward, and his subsequent conviction in New York and 23-year prison term galvanised the #MeToo movement against sex abuse by powerful men.

Weinstein co-founded Miramax film studio, whose hits included Shakespeare in Love, which won best picture at the Academy Awards, and Pulp Fiction.

Mr Aidala told reporters that Weinstein was "used to champagne and caviar" and now is paying for crisps and M&M's at the prison commissary.

His films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.