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'questions of law'

Harvey Weinstein granted appeal of rape conviction

Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein may argue for overturning his 2020 rape conviction before the New York Court of Appeals, a judge has ruled.

Judge Janet DiFiore granted Weinstein an appeal on Wednesday, meaning oral arguments in the case can take place in 2023, NBC News reports. The judge said there are "questions of law" involved in the case that should be reviewed, per CNN

Weinstein's attorney said his team is "hopeful the entire court will find that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and reverse his conviction." Weinstein, meanwhile, said in a statement his lawyers' "hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end." 

Weinstein was convicted on rape charges in February 2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison after facing sexual misconduct allegations from dozens of women beginning in 2017. But his attorneys have argued that "prior bad acts" witnesses, whose allegations Weinstein was not charged with but were used to establish a pattern of behavior, should not have been allowed to testify in his trial. 

Weinstein's lawyers also argued a juror who wrote a novel about "predatory older men" should have been removed, according to the Los Angeles Times. In June, an appeals court upheld Weinstein's conviction, saying including the "prior bad acts" testimony was "helpful" for the jury. 

Weinstein's appeal comes after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction in 2021, though that case had to do with an agreement Cosby had with a previous prosecutor.   

Meanwhile, Weinstein has also been charged with sexual assault in California, and his trial is scheduled for October. He has pleaded not guilty.