New Harvey Weinstein Assault Charges Push Trial to 2020

MANHATTAN (CN) – Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was arraigned for the fourth time Monday following new sex-abuse charges in New York City.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office added two new counts of predatory sexual assault in the latest indictment against Weinstein, pushing the former producer’s expected trial date from September to Jan. 6, 2020. 

Out on bail, a pale and limping Weinstein pleaded not guilty to the new charges in criminal court Monday morning, clad in a black suit and black sneakers.

The new indictment is believed to be a form of legal maneuvering to include testimony against Weinstein from “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra. The New York Times has reported that Sciorra approached prosecutors with her testimony too late to be included in the original indictments against Weinstein. In October 2017, Sciorra told The New Yorker that Weinstein had raped her in 1993.

On Thursday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed a bill of particulars that shows three different incident dates: winter of 1993-1994, July 2006 and March 2013. 

Prosecutors last week also filed a motion to consolidate two of the indictments against Weinstein. The defense objected, and has until Sept. 6 to file its response.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Sciorra, said outside Manhattan criminal court Monday that the prosecution has asked her client to testify. 

“I commend Annabella for her willingness to take the stand and answer questions under oath,” Allred said, later adding: “She has been willing to testify when asked to do so because she feels that it is in the interest of justice for the jury to hear and evaluate all relevant evidence in order for them to decide the appropriate verdict in that case. She looks forward to a just result.”

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women, though the vast majority are separate from the Manhattan criminal case, which could put him away for life if he’s found guilty.

“I think the case itself is weak,” said Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno, whom the mogul retained earlier this summer, characterizing the new charges as the prosecution’s attempt to remedy that.

“It’s not new,” she said of the information in the indictment, merely a new way to interpret that information. She added that the defense team had just received a copy of the new indictment and would look it over.

“We are going to file motions to dismiss this new indictment, and we believe we will be successful,” Rotunno said. 

As the attorneys and Judge James Burke discussed logistics for a January trial, Buke asked Weinstein, “Do you want to go to trial?”

“Not really,” said Weinstein with a chuckle. 

After proceedings had ended, Burke briefly called them back to order Monday to scold Weinstein for having taken out his cellphone at both his last court appearance and today’s, and ordered him not to do it again.  

Weinstein faces multiple civil and federal lawsuits in addition to the criminal indictment in Manhattan state court. He is out on $1 million bail. 

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