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Harvey Weinstein raped additional women, prosecutor says, but yet to decide on new charges

harvey-weinstein-raped-additional-women,-prosecutor-says,-but-yet-to-decide-on-new-charges

Harvey Weinstein raped additional women, prosecutor says, but yet to decide on new charges

Jason Marz/Getty Images

 

(NEW YORK) — Harvey Weinstein appeared in Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday, where prosecutors accused him of raping more women than those included in the previous prosecution of the disgraced movie producer.

Prosecutors told Judge Curtis Farber they have not yet decided whether to file additional charges against him, saying they are still evaluating allegations by women who came forward after Weinstein’s conviction was overturned on appeal in April.

“We believe the defendant forcibly raped and sexually abused women in Manhattan that fall within the statute of limitations,” Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg said. “There were women in 2020 who were not ready to proceed with the legal process. They are now ready.”

Blumberg declined to give Farber a timeline for a decision on new charges, but said she would be ready for a new trial this fall.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, and his attorneys have expressed skepticism about any new accusers.

Defense attorney Arthur Aidala accused prosecutors of using delay tactics.

“They have a defendant, and now they’re out there looking for a crime,” Aidala said. “They’re out there with a hotline: 1-800-Get-Harvey.”

Prosecutors disputed this characterization by the defense.

“There’s certainly no delay tactic in the people’s case,” Blumberg said. “There were a number of women who came forward to indicate they were raped by the defendant.”

Weinstein, who wore a suit and tie with his head closely shaved, entered court in a wheelchair pushed by court officers.

Aidala said Weinstein has fluid in his lungs and heart, as well as issues with his spine and vision. His diabetes is “going through the roof” while he remains incarcerated, he added.

“He’s a sick man,” Aidala said. “He’s got little kids and he wants to get out.”

Farber admonished the defense during the hearing for making statements outside of court that prosecutors said were meant to intimidate Miriam Haley, a former production assistant who Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting. Her attorney, Gloria Allred, has said Haley has not decided whether to participate in a re-trial of Weinstein. Without her, and absent any new charges, Weinstein would likely face no more than time served if a jury finds him guilty again.

Looking on during Tuesday’s hearing was Jessica Mann, who during Weinstein’s trial gave detailed testimony saying he repeatedly sexually assaulted her over the course of five years.

“Harvey at the time had every advantage over me. Given the immense physical stature of Harvey’s weight, height and ox-like strength — he used that physicality to trap me and prevent me from leaving,” Mann said at his sentencing in March 2020. “Harvey didn’t need to use a physical weapon to make me live in fear of the invisible gun to my head ready to be pulled if he felt in the mood.”

Weinstein’s conviction was thrown out in April after the New York Court of Appeals found the trial judge “erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes.” The court said that testimony “served no material non-propensity purpose” and “portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office said at the time it would retry Weinstein if the alleged victims were willing to come forward again.

“We will do everything in our power to retry this case, and remain steadfast in our commitment to survivors of sexual assault,” a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

Weinstein is expected back in court on July 19.

He is separately fighting a rape conviction in Los Angeles, where his defense attorneys argued he lacked a fair trial. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in that case.

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