Thompson law NEWS & ARTICLES

Weinstein pleads not guilty to predatory assault charges

Harvey Weinstein, once known as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, pleaded not guilty to two revised charges of predatory sexual assault earlier this month as the judge postponed his trial until 2020.

The charges Weinstein will face involve allegations of raping a victim in 2013 and forcibly performing a sex act on a separate victim in 2006. The film producer has been publicly accused of sexual harassment and assault by almost 100 women including Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd.

The trial was supposed to start next month however the hearing has now been postponed until January 2020 to give Weinstein’s lawyers more time to prepare.

When Weinstein was asked if he was ready for the trial by the judge. Weinstein laughed and said “not really”. He was also warned by the judge during the hearing for taking out his mobile phone: “I’ve been informed you have taken your cell phone out. Please refrain from ¬doing that.”

When Weinstein attempted to respond, the judge said: “It’s a court order. Don’t talk to me.”

Prosecutors amended the charges in order to allow Annabella Sciorra, to give evidence at the trial. The actress who starred in The Sopranos, has publicly accused Weinstein of raping her in 1993.

Under US state law, Weinstein cannot be charged with Sciorra’s allegations because the incident happened too long ago. However, with the amended charges, they will be able to use the actress’s evidence at the trial to prove Weinstein had a history of sexual assault.

After the hearing, Weinstein’s lawyers said the amended charges were a “desperate” attempt to salvage the prosecution case and they will be asking the judge to dismiss the revised charges.

Weinstein has denied all charges and always insisted all his sexual relationships were consensual.

He is currently on bail for $1 million (£818,000).