Harvey Weinstein will be retried in New York after rape conviction overturned

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By Brendan Pierson and Jack Queen

(Reuters) -Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein will be retried in New York, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in court on Wednesday, a week after the state's highest court threw out his 2020 rape conviction.

Weinstein appeared in court before Judge Curtis Farber in a wheelchair and a black suit, more than four years after his conviction was hailed as a milestone for the #MeToo movement, in which women accused hundreds of men in entertainment, media, politics and other fields of sexual misconduct.

“There was nothing consensual about this conduct,” prosecutor Nicole Blumberg said. "We believe in this case and will be retrying this case."

Weinstein, 72, had been serving a 23-year sentence in a prison in upstate Rome, New York. He then was transferred to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan following last week's order, according to his spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer.

Farber remanded Weinstein back into custody and said he expected to hold a new trial after the Labor Day holiday but did not set a firm date. Labor Day falls on Sept. 2.

Weinstein remained silent during the court hearing. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, did not object to his client being remanded.

"There's a tremendous sense of relief that we're back here," Aidala said after the court hearing.

"We're very confident that if he goes to trial, the only words we'll hear at the end of trial are 'not guilty,'" he added.

Aidala said Weinstein would return to Bellevue.

In February 2020, jurors in Manhattan convicted Weinstein of sexually assaulting former production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006 and of raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013. They are among more than 80 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

The conviction included charges of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape. Weinstein, who has denied having non-consensual sexual encounters with anyone, was acquitted on other charges.

Haley’s attorney, Gloria Allred, told reporters that she has not decided whether she will testify again at trial, saying the experience was traumatizing.

“That testimony was obviously believed by jury, and in addition, Mimi’s testimony was not the only evidence presented,” Allred said.

Last week, the New York Court of Appeals found that Judge James Burke, who presided over the trial, made a critical mistake by allowing three women to testify about alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein that were not part of the criminal charges against him. The court said this "prior bad acts" testimony violated his right to a fair trial.

Weinstein was also sentenced to 16 years following his separate rape trial in California. The two sentences cannot be served concurrently.

California law gives prosecutors wider latitude to introduce “prior bad acts” evidence than New York.

Burke is no longer on the bench, so any New York retrial would be before a different judge.

Weinstein co-founded the Miramax film studio, whose hit movies included "Shakespeare in Love" and "Pulp Fiction." His own eponymous film studio filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Jonathan Oatis)