Prosecutors seek September retrial for Harvey Weinstein after rape conviction was tossed

NEW YORK – Prosecutors asked for a September retrial for Harvey Weinstein during a hearing Wednesday in Manhattan, the disgraced movie mogul’s first court appearance since his 2020 rape conviction was overturned by an appeals court last week.

One of Weinstein’s accusers, Jessica Mann, was in the courtroom Wednesday and is prepared to testify again, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg told the judge.

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The former actor wants everyone to know that the defendant “may have power” but “she has the truth,” she said.

“We believe in this case and will be retrying this case,” Blumberg added.

Judge Curtis Farber set a May 29 pretrial court date, with the aim of going to trial some time after Labor Day.

Weinstein, wearing a navy blue suit, was seated in a wheelchair and didn’t address the court but smiled and shook hands with supporters in the gallery.

The 72-year-old, who has cardiac issues and diabetes, has been in a hospital since his return to the city jail system Friday from an upstate prison.

In court, his attorney, Arthur Aidala, said he has no concern about his client’s mental abilities, describing Weinstein as “sharp as a tack. As sharp as he ever was.”

Aidala said his client wants to prove his innocence: “It’s a new trial, it’s a new day and his life is on the line.”

In the New York case that is now overturned, Weinstein was convicted of rape in the third degree for an attack on aspiring actor Mann in 2013 and of forcing himself on a TV and film production assistant, Mimi Haley, in 2006. Weinstein had pleaded not guilty and maintained any sexual activity was consensual.

The Associated Press does not generally identify people alleging sexual assault unless they consent to be named, as Haley and Mann have.

Speaking after the hearing, Haley’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, said her client still hasn’t decided whether she wants to testify at the retrial, noting that doing so at the original trial was traumatizing and painful. Haley was not in court Wednesday, Allred said.

Weinstein was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape and is still sentenced to 16 years in prison in California. But he remains in custody in New York and will head back to Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, where he is expected to remain, Aidala said.

“He’s in constant pain that he’s fighting through,” the attorney said outside the courthouse, adding that Weinstein has nevertheless been reading avidly behind bars, including a book on Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Harvey Weinstein was used to drinking champagne and eating caviar, and now he’s at the commissary paying for potato chips and M&Ms,” Aidala said. “He’s keeping his chin up, making the best of a horrible situation.”

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.

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.

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Associated Press reporter Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

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