By: Greg Carmajian
Harvey Weinstein is in the news again, this time because Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has decided to re-presented the case to a grand jury.
Doing so will allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify.
Last week saw a grand jury listening to more evidence against the producer. It is expected to decide about whether to go forward with a new indictment on Aug. 26.
“The move came just weeks ahead of the scheduled Sept. 9 start of Weinstein’s blockbuster sex assault trial, which could be delayed as a result,” the New York Post has reported. “In court papers, Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said prosecutors planned to obtain a new indictment against Weinstein that’s based in part on Sciorra’s claim that he raped her more than 25 years ago. Weinstein can’t be charged in the alleged attack inside Sciorra’s Gramercy Park apartment due to the statute of limitations that was in effect at the time.”
Judge James Burke previously barred Sciorra from testifying in a ruling filed one week ago, saying the prosecutors could not have that much “leeway,” according to vanityfair.com. “At the time, a spokesperson for the DA’s office told Vulture, “We respect the court’s ruling, which does not affect the strength of our case.” Weinstein’s attorneys, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, were pleased with the judge’s choice, saying, “The rule of law prevails in this instance and reinforces that the DA has to play by the rules and cannot circumvent the proper legal process.”
Weinstein’s current charges “come down to two women: Mimi Haleyi and an unnamed accuser. Haleyi, a former production assistant, claims that he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. The unnamed accuser claims Weinstein raped her in 2013. The disgraced Hollywood mogul is facing five charges of assault and rape. The maximum sentence is life in prison. Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women, has pleaded not guilty,” vanityfair.com added.
In October 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker reported that dozens of women accused film producer Weinstein, formerly of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least thirty years. Over eighty women in the film industry have since accused Weinstein of such acts. Weinstein denied “any non-consensual sex.” Shortly after, he was dismissed from TWC, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and other professional associations, and retired from public view.
Criminal investigations into complaints from at least six women are ongoing in Los Angeles, New York City, and London. On May 25, 2018, Weinstein was arrested in New York, charged with rape and other offenses, and released on bail.
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