Manhattan DA aims to present new indictment, charges against Weinstein to grand jury by fall, prosecutor says

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office aims to present a new indictment with new charges against Harvey Weinstein to a grand jury by the fall, a prosecutor said in court Tuesday.

Alvin Bragg’s office is working with alleged victims whose claims of forcible rape and sexual abuse against the 72-year-old disgraced former Hollywood producer still fall within the statute of limitations, prosecutor Nicole Blumberg told the court.

Blumberg said prosecutors could realistically go to trial in November against Weinstein, whose downfall over similar claims became a symbol of the #MeToo movement.

Some of the alleged victims had been not willing to participate in the legal process at the time of Weinstein’s first trial, the prosecutor said. “As we said in 2020, some women were not ready. These women are now ready,” Blumberg said

The New York Court of Appeals ruled this year that the testimony of “prior bad acts” witnesses should not have been allowed in the trial that led to Weinstein’s 2020 conviction of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape because it “was unnecessary to establish defendant’s intent and served only to establish defendant’s propensity to commit the crimes charged.” He was sentenced to 23 years in prison and has maintained his innocence and denied any nonconsensual sexual activity.

Prosecutors in New York had in May indicated their plans to seek a new indictment but said Tuesday they have yet to do so.

Weinstein’s lawyers must be notified when that happens because the defense team plans to present a case to the grand jury that might include testimony from Weinstein himself.

Defense attorney Arthur Aidala accused the DA’s office of delaying tactics at the hearing, telling state Judge Curtis Farber, “They have a defendant and they’re out there looking for a crime.”

Aidala said Weinstein is “begging” his attorneys to get this matter done quickly and wants to go to trial in September as initially discussed at the first hearing after Weinstein’s 2020 conviction was vacated by New York’s highest court. He has remained behind bars because he was sentenced last year in Los Angeles to 16 years in prison on charges of rape and sexual assault – a trial that similarly used “prior bad acts” witnesses and has also been appealed.

The defense attorney said Tuesday that Weinstein is suffering in solitary confinement at Rikers Island after being removed from a hospital setting.

According to his lawyer, Weinstein is not getting any treatment for his health issues, including fluid in his heart and his lungs, Spinal Stenosis, macular degeneration in his eyes and diabetes. CNN has reached out to Rikers and the Bureau of Prisons on his claims.

Weinstein’s attorneys have consented to Weinstein remaining in custody in New York pending the retrial despite his vacated conviction because he could alternatively be transferred to California to serve a prison sentence for his rape conviction there.

Another hearing is scheduled for July 19.

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