Already set for an arraignment on August 26 on a new indictment in his criminal case, Harvey Weinstein has hit a hard wall with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on his desire to take his upcoming rape trial out of the NYC media spotlight.
Long story short, Cyrus Vance Jr’s crew says, “Fuhggedaboudit.”
“Defendant has failed to meet his burden of showing this Court that there is ‘reasonable cause to believe’ that he cannot receive ‘a fair and impartial trial’ in New York County,” NYC Assistant D.A. Harriett Galvin said in a short but stern response (read it here) to the August 20 filing by the disgraced producer’s lawyer Arthur Aidala.
“This is not, by any stretch, the ‘rare’ case in which a change of venue should be granted prior to jury selection,” Galvin said. “Defendant’s motion is replete with hyperbole and speculation about the impact that pretrial publicity has had on potential jurors; he has not shown that jurors in Suffolk or Albany County will be any less impacted or influenced by media coverage about the case; and he has contributed to that coverage by the actions of his legal representatives. Accordingly, defendant’s motion for a change of venue and to stay the proceedings should be denied.”
First arrested in late May 2018, Weinstein is facing 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. Subject to travel restrictions reinforced last August 7, the 67-year-old Oscar-winning producer is out on $1 million bail after entering a not guilty plea on July 9 last year. That was long months after the New York Times exposé of October 2017 was published and put the producer’s alleged decades-long vile behavior in the spotlight he had bullied and paid off to avoid.
Accused by Ashley Judd in a now temporarily halted case and failing to get a sex trafficking class action tossed out, Weinstein is also facing allegations from more than 60 women that he sexually assaulted or sexually harassed them. In that vein, Weinstein is under investigation by federal prosecutors as well as probes by the Manhattan D.A.’s office, the NYPD, the LAPD and more globally.
Additionally, a so-called $44 million “global settlement” announced in May over the claims of dozens of women against Weinstein looks to be all smoke and no fire now after various accusers cried foul over the hefty sums being paid out to lawyers and other reps for the now defunct board of the bankrupt The Weinstein Company.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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