Top New York court overturns Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction.

New York’s highest court has overturned disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction for rape and sexual assault, highlighting the challenges of holding powerful men to account.

The Court of Appeals found on Thursday that the landmark trial was unfair because the judge allowed women whose accusations were not part of the charges Weinstein faced to give evidence in court.

Judge Jenny Rivera called for a new trial following the 4-3 decision.

The ruling does not affect a separate 16-year rape sentence handed down in California, so the 72-year-old will remain behind bars.

Bombshell allegations against the Oscar-winning producer broke into the open in 2017 and led to a flood of allegations against other powerful men as women fought back against sexual violence in what became known as the #MeToo movement.

Three years later, a New York court found Weinstein guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006, and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

He was jailed for 23 years in a case that was considered a landmark for the #MeToo movement.

Following his conviction, a civil trial awarded $17m to dozens of other women who had accused Weinstein of abuse.

Many of his accusers condemned Thursday’s decision, with actress Ashley Judd calling it “an act of institutional betrayal”.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg signalled it planned to put Weinstein back on trial.

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