Harvey Weinstein prosecutors seek a retrial after 2020 New York rape conviction overturned

Harvey Weinstein in court on Wednesday. Credit: AP

Harvey Weinstein was back in court on Wednesday for the first time since his 2020 rape conviction was overturned and a new trial ordered.

Prosecutors have asked for a September retrial.

The preliminary hearing in Manhattan is scheduled to include discussion of evidence, scheduling and other matters.

The 72-year-old attended the hearing despite being hospitalised shortly after his return to his cell last week. Weinstein, wearing a navy blue suit, was seated in a wheelchair pushed by a court officer as he entered the preliminary hearing in Manhattan.

Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala said the disgraced former Hollywood mogul was undergoing unspecified tests due to his health issues.

At the time Mr Aidala said: "He’s got a lot of problems. He’s getting all kinds of tests. He’s somewhat of a train wreck health-wise."

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has said it is determined to retry the case against Weinstein despite the previous conviction being thrown out.

Mimi Haley has said that testifying at any retrial could be retraumatising, and requires a substantial investment of time and sacrifice, according to her lawyer, Gloria Allred, who represented multiple women testifying against Weinstein

Legal experts say that may be a long road and comes down to whether the women he’s accused of assaulting are willing to testify again.

One of the women, Mimi Haley, said last week she was still considering whether she would testify at any retrial. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, who represented multiple women testifying against Weinstein, told ITV News it would be traumatising and require a 'substantial investment of time".

The once-powerful studio boss was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape and is still sentenced to another 16 years in prison in California.

In the New York case that is now overturned, he was convicted of rape in the third degree for an attack on an aspiring actor in 2013, and of forcing himself on Haley, a former Project Runway production assistant, in 2006.

Weinstein had pleaded not guilty and maintained any sexual activity was consensual.

Ms Allred said the overturning of the conviction could have a "chilling effect" on women in the future

On Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals vacated his conviction in a 4-3 decision, erasing his 23-year prison sentence, after concluding a trial judge permitted jurors to see and hear too much evidence not directly related to what he was charged with.

One of the key issues the court found was a decision to let women testify about allegations that were not part of the case.

The ruling shocked and disappointed women who celebrated historic gains during the era of #MeToo, a movement that ushered in a wave of sexual misconduct claims in Hollywood and beyond.

Ms Allred said the overturning of Weinstein's convictions would have a "chilling effect" on women who be willing to testify to sexual misconduct.

"They may think, 'well, it's not worth it for me to go to law enforcement, speak to them, because I'm not going to be allowed to testify. What is the point? That information will not be relevant'," she told ITV News.

"It also can have a chilling effect on prosecutors who may decide in high profile cases that because they can't have testify other prior bad act witnesses now that they are taking more of a risk in processes shooting the case and may decide they're not going to prosecute it."

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