Once powerful Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was granted an appeal Wednesday, more than two years after he was convicted of third-degree rape and other crimes.
The ruling, from New York State of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, clears the way for oral arguments next year before the entire court, a court spokesman said.
Weinstein’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, told NBC News that they were grateful for the decision, which he said “acknowledged the unique legal issues in this case.”
“We are hopeful the entire court will find that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and reverse his conviction,” Aidala said.
In a statement through his spokesman, Weinstein said Wednesday that he is innocent.
“I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart on this,” he said. “Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end.”
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined comment when asked for a reaction to the appeal being granted.
The full court could either affirm the lower court’s decision and uphold the conviction or reverse the decision and vacate his conviction. The court could also order a new trial or modify his conviction by upholding some charges and vacating others.
Weinstein was convicted in February 2020 on two charges of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape. He was sentenced to 23 years in a New York State prison.
Weinstein was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, a crime that carried a possible life sentence, and one count of first-degree rape.
More than 80 women accused the Oscar-winning producer of sexual assault and harassment. In Los Angeles, he was charged last year with 11 counts of rape and sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the alleged crimes.
Weinstein is currently in a Los Angeles jail awaiting his trial, scheduled for Oct. 7th.
Doug Wigdor, an attorney who represented victims of Weinstein at trial, said he was confident the appeal would ultimately be rejected.
“I represented eight Weinstein clients including two who testified at the trial,” Wigdor said in a statement Wednesday. “Weinstein is a desperate man but we are confident that New York’s highest court will ultimately reject his appeal … affirming the trial court’s conviction and sentence.”