Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to new sex crimes charges, as alleged victims prepare to testify against him in his now delayed trial.
On Monday, the former film executive pleaded not guilty to two new predatory sexual assault charges in a Manhattan criminal court, as well as all other charges; his lawyers claim the acts were all consensual. Weinstein’s trial was initially going to start in two weeks but has now been delayed until January.
According to CNN, if the two charges found to be duplicative of existing predatory sexual assault charges, then prosecutors will move forward with the new charges. This move would exchange the old predatory sexual assault charges with the new ones. New York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke set a schedule for a briefing to decide if the old charges should be dropped. However, prosecutors said the case does not change with this new indictment. “There (are) absolutely no surprises here, there is nothing new here,” the prosecutor told the court.
Weinstein’s defense attorney Donna Rotunno said that the new indictment showed prosecutors are “desperate.” She also said her team would file motions to dismiss this new indictment. “It’s not new. It’s a new way to attempt to do it,” she said. Weinstein’s trial is now expected to start on January 6. While discussing scheduling with a judge, Weinstein was asked, “Do you want to go to trial?” The 67-year-old man replied, “Not really, not with this weak case,” he replied.
However, in the meantime, “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra has confirmed she will testify against Weinstein in the trial. “She has been willing to testify when asked to do so,” attorney Gloria Allred said, “because she feels that it is in the interest of justice for the jury to hear and evaluate all relevant evidence in order for them to decide the appropriate verdict in this case.”