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New York appeals court upholds Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault conviction

Weinstein in 2021 -- Scott Heins/Getty Images

Disgraced former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was handed another legal defeat Thursday, when a New York state appeals court upheld his 2020 conviction on sexual assault charges.

Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence for sexually assaulting a former production assistant and raping an aspiring actress. He faces trial on similar charges in Los Angeles.

The appeals court on Thursday rejected Weinstein's claims that the judge at his landmark #MeToo trial prejudiced him by allowing women who weren't part of the criminal case to testify.

Lawyers for Weinstein had also argued that a juror in the case should have been dismissed because she wrote a novel about young women falling victim to predatory older men and was using her status to help sell it.

"There is simply no basis to argue that the juror's service on the jury for defendant's trial would attract readers who otherwise would not have been inclined to read her novel," the decision read.

A "gratified" Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg noted, "... today's decision ... upholds a monumental conviction that changed the way prosecutors and courts approach complex prosecutions of sexual predators."

He added, "I am grateful to the brave survivors in this case for their remarkable courage and candor, as well as the jurors who dedicated their time and effort to securing a fair and just verdict."

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