Harvey Weinstein Returns to Rikers Island, Court Appearance Pending

Harvey Weinstein's legal battles take a new turn.

by Nouman Rasool
Harvey Weinstein Returns to Rikers Island, Court Appearance Pending
© Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein, who once towered over Hollywood, is back in the jail on New York City's Rikers Island as he awaits another day in court after his 2020 rape conviction was overturned by New York's highest court. The 72-year-old Weinstein was transferred from the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, New York, about 42 miles from Syracuse, to a medical ward at Rikers.

That was a key ruling by the New York Court of Appeals last Thursday when he ruled that the original trial judge had compromised Weinstein's defense with numerous questionable decisions. His return to Rikers comes ahead of a scheduled appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court.

He is due to appear before Judge Curtis Farber on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. His conviction was overturned by a slim margin of 4-3 in the Court of Appeals, where it was argued that the trial judge erred in allowing testimony from women who said they were attacked by Weinstein, but their allegations were not part of the criminal charges.

Conviction Controversies Detailed

The court damned the inclusion of this testimony as having no other effect than pointing to a propensity for misconduct, which is not a permissible basis of conviction. The one-time top movie producer was serving a 23-year sentence at Mohawk Correctional Facility after his conviction for forcibly performing oral sex on a television and movie production assistant in 2006, as well as committing third-degree rape on an aspiring actress in 2013.

In addition to his New York conviction, Weinstein remains behind bars after a separate 2022 conviction in Los Angeles for rape, even though a sexual battery charge in the same trial saw him acquitted. Weinstein has also filed a notice of appeal of the verdict in Los Angeles.

In response to the ruling of the appellate court, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has pledged to retry Weinstein. In a statement released on Friday, the office was committed to the survivors of sexual assault, saying, "Our mission is to center survivors' experiences and wellbeing in every decision we make, which we will do as we approach the next steps in this case.

This case continues to be closely watched, reflecting the ongoing arguments and legal battles within the #MeToo movement, and pointing to the many difficulties of prosecuting high-profile sexual assault cases under an intense media microscope.

Harvey Weinstein