“We are going to file motions to dismiss this new indictment. And we believe we will be successful” – Donna Rotunna, Attorney for the Accused
On 26 August in New York’s Supreme Court, Justice James Burke heard the pleas of former Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, on an additional indictment relating to the allegation largely credited with his downfall and launching the #metoo movement in the States.
Weinstein, who has previously pleaded not guilty to five charges stemming from allegations by two women of a forcible sex act in 2006 and a rape in 2013, also pleaded not guilty to accusations by a third alleged victim, Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos), who claims that the ex-mogul raped her in 1993.
Related: Harvey Weinstein Charged With Rape
Though this indictment does not include a new charge, they have been revised to allow the prosecutors in the case to add Sciorra–who was previously barred from testifying at trial, as she did not testify before the grand jury–to the witness list and have her testify against Weinstein.
Prosecutors in the case hope to bolster their case against Weinstein with the testimony of Sciorra, whose case has run the statute of limitations. Sciorra’s allegations state that after a dinner party in 1993, the former producer raped her and forcibly performed oral sex on her in her Manhattan apartment.
Sciorra first relayed these allegations in an interview with The New Yorker in October of 2017. Afterward, multiple women came forward claiming that the former Weinstein Company boss either flat out raped them or behaved inappropriately with them.
This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence. pic.twitter.com/TrtRNiYfIT
— Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) October 8, 2017
Weinstein has denied claims of sexual misconduct from more than 40 women, that include actresses Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mira Sorvino. In total, Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to five charges that include rape, sexual assault, and predatory sexual assault.
As a result of the allegations, the Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy and was sold off, but not before firing one half of its namesake. Additionally, film organizations such as The Producers Guild of America, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Bafta all moved to remove Weinstein from their ranks.
When the allegations first emerged, Weinstein provided a statement wherein he “sincerely apologized” for his past behavior and said he was working with therapists.
Trial was previously scheduled for 9 September 2019 has now been pushed to 6 January 2020 as a result of the indictment. If convicted of these charges, Weinstein faces up to life in prison.
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