HARVEY Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to a new indictment that includes fresh charges of predatory sexual assault.
The movie mogul is currently awaiting trial at a Manhattan court, accused of sexually assaulting two women in 2006 and 2013.
Weinstein was for a long time among the most powerful figures in Hollywood[/caption]
Prosecutors have now brought a revised indictment that includes testimony from a third woman, reported to be Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, alleging that Weinstein raped her in 1993.
The alleged attack against Sciorra occurred too long ago to be prosecuted under state law, but prosecutors intend the new indictment to give them legal grounds to call her as a witness.
They want to use her testimony to argue that Weinstein had a pattern of sexually assaulting woman.
The incidents that are to be the subject of the trial include an alleged assault against former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, who alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006.
The other accuser, who has not been identified, has accused Weinstein of raping her in 2013.
The new indictment will see the start of the trial delayed from September 9 2019 to January 6 2020.
MORE THAN 80 ACCUSERS
Allegations of sexual assault against Weinstein, for a long time one of Hollywood’s most successful and powerful figures, first emerged in October 2017 with a story published by the New York Times that included testimony from multiple women.
More than 80 have now come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour dating back over four decades.
Among his accusers are some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cate Blanchett.
Weinstein has denied all the allegations against him, and insists that any sexual contact he had with his accusers was consensual.
His lawyers called the fresh indictment brought today a “desperate” attempt to salvage the case, and are expected to ask for it to be dismissed.
“I think the case itself is weak,” said attorney Donna Rotunno.
Sciorra’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, asked why the defence team was reluctant to have more testimony heard.
“Why are they so afraid of having additional witnesses testify?” she said.
Weinstein’s defence team has also sought to have the trial moved from Manhattan.
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In a court filing last week, they said: “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.”
The judge in the case has yet to rule on that request.
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