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New York judge grants Harvey Weinstein appeal of his 2020 rape conviction

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A New York judge Wednesday granted disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein an appeal of his 2020 conviction, where he was found guilty of rape in the third degree and committing a criminal sex act.

Janet DiFiore, chief judge for the New York State Court of Appeals, granted Weinstein’s application for an appeal on Aug. 19, CBS News has learned. The next steps in the process will involve scheduling the filing of briefs and oral arguments.

In response to the ruling, a spokesperson for Weinstein released a statement which read: “I am innocent of these charges, and I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart on 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.”

“We are grateful that Chief Judge DiFiore acknowledged the substantial legal issues in this case and we are hopeful that the entire Court will find that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and reverse his conviction,” Weinstein’s attorneys also said in a statement. 

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In February 2020, a Manhattan jury found the now 70-year-old Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape for sexually assaulting an actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013, and one count of a criminal sex act for forcing oral sex on a former production assistant in 2006. He was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.

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Weinstein has since been extradited to Los Angeles to face charges there. Five women have accused him of sexually assaulting them between 2004 and 2013. In June, British prosecutors also charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting a woman back in 1996.

Media reports began to surface in late 2017 of Weinstein’s alleged misconduct, and dozens of women came forward and accused him of sexual assault. The scandal was a major spark for the #MeToo movement.  

In the U.S., help is available for survivors of sexual violence and their families. RAINN offers resources at 1-800-656-HOPE and on their website, www.rainn.org

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