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.”
In a Manhattan courtroom Wednesday, Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor forcible touching charge to resolve his forcible touching and sex assault case in Manhattan.
The actor had been accused of forcibly kissing a woman at a nightclub in September 2018. He also admitted to subjecting two other women to non-consensual physical contact in October 2018 and June 2019.
The actor could avoid jail time if he continues for six more months the alcohol and behavior modification treatment he began in 2019, and have no new arrests. If he does both, the Jerry Maguire star is allowed to re-plead to a lesser charge of Harassment in the Second Degree, with a sentence of time served and a permanent stay of sealing. If he does not comply, he faces up to one year in jail.
Gooding’s next court date is October 13, 2022.
Gooding, 53, was arrested in June 2019 after a 29-year-old woman said he squeezed her breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Times Square. Prosecutors added additional charges after two other women came forward and accused him of unwanted sexual overtures, including a server at TAO Downtown and another woman at the nightclub LAVO.
Gooding had long denied the charges, with his attorneys contending he was unfairly accused in the fervor of the #MeToo era.
(NOTE CONTENT) ABC News has confirmed that Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. will stand trial in New York City on February 1 in connection with forcible touching and sexual abuse charges.
A judge set Gooding’s trial date Monday in connection with charges that the actor groped women in Manhattan bars or nightclubs in 2018 and 2019,
In October 2018, Gooding allegedly pinched the buttocks of a woman in the TAO downtown nightclub on 9th Avenue. When confronted, he claimed he had only touched her back.
In June 2019, Gooding allegedly made a sexually suggestive remark to a woman at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar inside the Moxy Hotel on 7th Avenue. He then put his hand on the woman’s left breast and squeezed it without her consent, court records show. The alleged victim had sat down at the bar where Gooding was with Claudine De Niro, Robert De Niro‘s ex-daughter-in-law. Prosecutors said the encounter was caught on video.
Gooding was formally charged with misdemeanor forcible touching at the NYPD’s 25th Precinct in Harlem, New York, in 2019, and later indicted. He subsequently pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count each of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree.
Attorneys for the Jerry Maguire star had unsuccessfully sought to dismiss the case.