UPDATED with response from Weinstein lawyers: A court hearing has been set for Monday in New York where Harvey Weinstein will be arraigned on a new indictment involving former The Sopranos actor Annabella Sciorra. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office said Thursday that Weinstein is expected to be present.
As Deadline first reported about the legal move last week, Sciorra’s claims that Weinstein raped her 26 years ago (she revealed the alleged incident to Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker in 2017) couldn’t be a part of the current legal proceedings against Weinstein due to the statute of limitations. But her testimony could be an example of the M.O. that he used in the assaults that are at the heart of the criminal case.
“This Monday, Harvey Weinstein will appear in court for what is an unprecedented fourth arraignment in his criminal matter,” Weinstein’s attorneys Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala said in a statement today. “There has been no case in recent memory where a district attorney has gone back to the Grand Jury on two separate occasions to re-present a case before that body in the hopes of obtaining an indictment that can withstand the scrutiny of a trial jury. This action by the prosecutor bespeaks the desperation that has engulfed their case. We have reached the point where one must be concerned that these desperate measures indicate more of a focus on obtaining a conviction at all costs than on seeking justice.”
No new charges are expected against Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer who currently faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. The 67-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars if found guilty.
Today’s news comes as the defense is seeking a change of venue to have the trial moved out of New York City, a ruling that is still pending.
“It is safe to say that New York City is the least likely place on earth where Mr. Weinstein could receive a fair trial, where jurors could hear evidence, deliberate, and render a verdict in an atmosphere free of intimidation from pressure to deliver a result that the politicians, the activists, the celebrities and the media demand,” said a filing by Weinstein’s defense team last week on the matter.
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