Harvey Weinstein’s Sexual Assault Appeal Moves Forward in New York.
In 2020, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted of a first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape charges and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Recently, New York Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’ ruled that Weinstein’s sexual assault appeal could move forward, allowing his attorneys to argue their case before the appeals court.
The Case Against Harvey Weinstein
In 2017, the New York Times published an article that included detailed allegations of sexual abuse and harassment by well-known Hollywood executive and producer Harvey Weinstein. The Times report included accounts by well-known actors such as Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, and several other women.
Weinstein Abuse Survivors
After the article was published, a shocking number of women came forward and recounted their abusive experiences with Weinstein. A-list actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, Selma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie were among the many who related that Weinstein had sexually harassed them. In addition, actress The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra and others came forward with rape allegations. As the number of allegations rose, it became evident that Weinstein would be facing civil claims and criminal charges.
Weinstein Allegations Helped Fuel #Me Too
The reports of Weinstein’s abusive conduct are credited with helping fuel #Me Too—the social movement in which survivors come forward regarding their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse.
In 2020, Weinstein was tried for sexual assault. During his trial, six accusers testified about his sexually abusive conduct. His former production assistant Miriam Haley testified that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment. In addition, former actress Jessica Mann testified that he raped her in 2013 during what she described as an abusive relationship. He was convicted for offenses committed against Haley and Mann. However, Weinstein appealed, claiming that his convictions should be reversed because of judicial and juror bias.
The recent ruling will allow Weinstein’s lawyers to argue his appeal before the New York appeals court. Weinstein has been serving his New York prison sentence in California, where he has been charged with sexual assault of several women. The allegations against Weinstein span decades, and it is not yet certain how many victims have been harmed by his abuse.
New York’s Adult Survivors Act
As this case demonstrates, sexual abuse injury trauma takes time to manifest, and survivors don’t always feel safe coming forward when they first experience abuse. In the past, the laws have failed to account for how this type of trauma is processed. Historically, survivors have been denied justice because of short statutes of limitation for the offense committed against them. However, earlier this year, New York took important steps toward remedying this problem with the passage of the Adult Survivor’s Act (ASA).
In May, Governor Hochul signed the ASA, providing an opportunity for adult survivors of sexual abuse and assault to file suit against their abusers regardless of when the offense occurred. Before the ASA, New York lawmakers passed laws extending the statute of limitations for multiple sexual abuse-related offenses to twenty years. Before this change, survivors were often deprived of their day in court because the timeframe for pursuing claims related to their abuse had expired.
New York Lawmakers Change Sexual Abuse Laws
These statutes failed to account for the time it takes for survivors to come forward and acknowledge their trauma. In recognition of this fact, state lawmakers mobilized to change the laws and give previously denied survivors the opportunity to file suit. With the passage of the ASA, a one-year window for adult survivors will open on November 24, 2022, and close on November 24, 2023.
If you have been harmed by sexual abuse or assault, you should be able to recover compensation for your injuries. You should contact an experienced sexual abuse injury attorney to discuss your claim. A sexual abuse injury attorney can help you understand your options and prepare and file your case.
Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney
If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, P.C. understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.