In a new development, ex-Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has won the right to appeal more than two years after his New York conviction for sex crimes that included third-degree rape.
Janet DiFiore, the chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, cleared a path for oral arguments next year before the entire court on whether Weinstein received a fair trial, reports 'NBC News'.
Deadline states that Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in state prison upon his conviction in February 2020. He was found guilty of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape. A lower court turned down his request for an appeal before today's ruling granting the request.
Weinstein's attorney, Arthur Aidala, said that his client was grateful for the decision. "We are hopeful the entire court will find that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and (will) reverse his conviction," Aidala said in a statement accessed by Deadline.
Weinstein issued a statement through a spokesman proclaiming that he is innocent. "I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart on this," he said. "Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end."
According to Deadline, the Weinstein argument is that the several witnesses were allowed to testify even though there were no charges about Weinstein's activities with them. If his sentence is overturned, it's possible he could be released on bail.
Weinstein remains incarcerated at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles on other sex crime charges.