The highest appeals court in the state of New York will hear Harvey Weinstein’s case based on “questions of law … which ought to be reviewed,” the Court of Appeals announced Wednesday.
Weinstein was convicted in 2020 of rape and sexual assault, and a lower court upheld that conviction in June. The Court of Appeals has granted Weinsten’s application, and the ruling on Wednesday from New York State of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore will clear the way for oral arguments to begin next year before the entire court, a court spokesman told NBC News.
“I’m hopeful that this is the opportunity to finally prove my innocence,” Weinstein said in a Wednesday statement to The New York Post.
“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 lawyer Arthur Aidala said in a statement.
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence for the 2020 conviction. He had been charged with two counts, including committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape.
Weinstein’s prior appeal argued it was improper for prosecutors to introduce “Molineux evidence,” or evidence of prior bad acts that were never charged as crimes. His attorney argued that the parade of prior incidents not directly related to the charges undermined Weinstein’s ability to testify on his own behalf, which he has so far chosen not to do.
A representative for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
In summer 2021, the mogul was extradited to California where he will face up to 140 years based on sexual misconduct charges involving five women between 2004 and 2013. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial in Los Angeles will begin in October.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón in a statement following news of the appeal said that it will have no impact on the Los Angeles trial but that it is “unfortunate that his New York victims will not have the finality that they deserve.”