Harvey Weinstein’s legal team is requesting a new trial with a new jury, after the former Hollywood producer was found guilty of rape and sexual assault during his L.A. trial late last year.
Weinstein’s attorneys filed their motion for a new trial on Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles to Judge Lisa B. Lench, who presided over the trial, and deputy district attorneys Paul Thompson and Marlene Martinez, who prosecuted the case.
The matter will be heard in court on Feb. 23, which is Weinstein’s sentencing date.
Weinstein — who is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York after being found guilty of rape and sexual assault in 2020 — was convicted on three charges of rape and sexual assault in Dec. 2022. The jury, however, was not able to reach an unanimous decision and ended the two-month trial with split verdict. The jurors acquitted him on one charge of sexual battery, and the judge declared a mistrial on three other counts.
The three charges on which Weinstein was found guilty all came from Jane Doe #1, meaning the jury did not convict him on charges relating to any other women who took the stand.
Weinstein’s legal team, led by Alan Jackson and Mark Werksman, is asking the court to “reduce the verdict” and “reconsider its rulings” to set right “prejudicial errors” against Weinstein. They claim that the jury was improperly instructed during the trial.
The defense argues they were precluded from admitting evidence and argument necessary to their case — particularly centering around Jane Doe #1, the European model who accused Weinstein of raping her in 2013 after the L.A. Italia Film Festival, on which the jury convicted him.
Weinstein’s defense says they have evidence of Facebook messages that would “impeach” Jane Doe #1’s credibility, and states that “the jury was left with a false impression” regarding Jane Doe #1, accusing the prosecution of presenting a “false version” of her story. “In order to vote guilty on counts 1-3, the jury had to take Jane Doe #1’s word that her story was Tre, thereby placing her credibility at the very focal point of their decision making process,” Weinstein’s attorneys write.
“The motion speaks for itself and is demonstrative of just how some, even in the halls of justice, are inspired by social and political outcry, rather than facts,” Weinstein’s spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, says to Variety. “Witnesses lied about crucial evidence that would have exonerated Mr. Weinstein, and the court protected those lies and deemed them unnecessary for the jury to hear or know.”
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