Harvey Weinstein has filed an appeal seeking to overturn his criminal conviction on charges of rape and criminal sex act. Legal documents obtained exclusively by OK! show that Weinstein’s lawyer submitted paperwork to the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department on October 9. Weinstein is being represented in the case by Barry Kamins, a partner at Aidala Bertuna & Kamins. Kamins and his fellow partner, Arthur Aidala, previously represented Weinstein in his criminal trial.
The jury in the case returned with their verdict back in February, and a week later it was determined that Weinstein would serve 23 years behind bars at Wende Correctional Facility in upstate New York. His ability to appeal the verdict became a bit more difficult after he was behind bars when his two ex-wives worked together to freeze his assets. This move was done in order to make sure his children would be taken care of while he was in custody.
Weinstein remains at Wende but will soon be transferred to Los Angeles for his next criminal trial. He is facing a litany of charges in that case, including four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force. There are five victims in that case, whose alleged assaults happened between 2004-2013.
Weinstein's lawyers have stood by their client in the months after his guilty verdict was handed down, and expressed their "disappointment" after his conviction. "While he was not convicted on the most serious charges, we are disappointed in the verdict and will be filing an appeal," his lawyers said outside court. "There are issues in this trial that were extremely troubling and they prejudiced Mr. Weinstein's ability to have his case fairly judged. These will be addressed to a higher court."
After a jury found the convicted rapist guilty, he reportedly said: "I'm innocent. I'm innocent. I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?" The jury in the New York case could only find Weinstein guilty on two counts because of how the charges were structured by prosecutors.
The prevailing counts were the charges of predatory sexual assault, one involving Mimi Haleyi and Annabella Sciorra and the second involving Jessica Mann and Sciorra. In both cases, the jury came to an unanimous decision of not guilty on those charges, at which point they began to consider the lesser counts. For Haleyi, that was criminal sexual assault, and they returned a guilty verdict.
The jury again came to a not guilty decision on the lesser count of first-degree rape in the case of Mann but found Weinstein guilty of the lowest charge of third-degree rape. Weinstein could not be charged with raping Sciorra because the statute of limitations had expired in the case.
"The fight is not over," Donna Rotunno, Weinstein's attorney, told reporters outside the court on the day of the verdict, while suggesting she would be appealing the verdict in the coming days. That did not pan out as planned. "It is absolutely horrible for me to watch my client be taken into custody. "We don't feel good about that at all," said Rotunno. She went on to suggest that her client was ready to fight the verdict. "Harvey is very strong. Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man," said the defense attorney. "He knows that we will continue to fight for him and knows that this is not over."