Ex-film mogul Harvey Weinstein may face new sex crimes charges

admin admin | 07-11 00:10

NEW YORK, July 10 — Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein may face new sexual assault charges ahead of his retrial this fall, Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday.

Authorities are investigating “additional violent sexual assaults” allegedly carried out by Weinstein that are not subject to a statute of limitations, assistant district attorney Nicole Blumberg said.

“As we said in 2020, there were women who were not ready to proceed with the legal process,” Blumberg told Judge Curtis Farber at a court hearing. “Some of those women are now ready to proceed.”

New York’s highest court overturned Weinstein’s conviction on sex crime charges in April in a shock reversal in one of the defining cases of the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein was convicted in New York in 2020 of the rape and sexual assault of former actress Jessica Mann in 2013, and of forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.

He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

The Court of Appeals found the trial judge erred in admitting the testimony of additional women who were allegedly abused by Weinstein but who were not named in the charges brought against him, and ordered a new trial.

Blumberg said prosecutors could be ready for a retrial as soon as November.

Arthur Aidala, Weinstein’s lawyer, said he was “ready to go to trial” and denounced the prosecution’s tactics.

“Once again, they are doing the 1-800-Get-Harvey (hotline),” Aidala said. “They are trying to find someone else to come forward because I guess they feel their current case is not strong enough.

“Once again we have the individual and we’re looking for a crime.”

Aidala said the 72-year-old Weinstein’s health was deteriorating in prison.

The once-powerful film mogul appeared in court in a wheelchair, looking frail, pale and nearly bald.

“He’s not a young man, he’s a sick man,” Aidala said. “His diabetes is going through the roof.”

Although Weinstein’s New York conviction was overturned he has remained behind bars because of a conviction for rape in California for which he received a sentence of 16 years.

Bombshell allegations broke against the Oscar-winning Weinstein in 2017, launching the #MeToo movement, a watershed moment for women fighting sexual misconduct.

Weinstein and his brother Bob co-founded Miramax Films, a distribution company sold to Disney in 1993.

Their hits included 1998’s Shakespeare in Love, for which Weinstein shared a best picture Oscar.

The judge set the next hearing in the case for July 19. — AFP

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