Harvey Weinstein to face more witnesses in rape case

Harvey Weinstein to face extra witnesses in rape case

A Los Angeles choose on Wednesday accepted six extra witnesses to testify towards Harvey Weinstein in his ongoing sexual assault and rape case — however denied the prosecution’s request to place actress Daryl Hannah on the stand. 

The disgraced Hollywood producer — who appeared in courtroom in a wheelchair with a heavy steel chain round his waist hooked up to handcuffs — sat silently for a lot of the hour and a half listening to earlier than Los Angeles Superior Court docket Choose Lisa B. Lench.

Prosecutors filed a movement underneath seal asking the choose to contemplate including 16 extra witnesses who declare Weinstein raped or sexually assaulted them, relationship way back to 1978, including the “Splash” actress.

After listening to the arguments from Deputy District Lawyer Paul Thompson and protection lawyer Mark Werksman, Lench the choose agreed to permit six out of the 16 extra witnesses to testify at Weinstein’s trial.

The fallen movie mogul will not be dealing with prices associated to the brand new witnesses, however they are going to testify to alleged prior unhealthy acts.

Lench mentioned she would let the jury hear from the six whose allegations occurred within the early 2000s to as late as 2016. She didn’t, nonetheless, enable witnesses equivalent to Hannah, and others whose claims have been “too distant” in time.  

A courtroom sketch shows an officer escorting Harvey Weinstein while he’s handcuffed to a wheelchair during his sexual assault conviction on March 11, 2020.
A courtroom sketch exhibits an officer escorting Harvey Weinstein whereas he’s handcuffed to a wheelchair throughout his sexual assault conviction on March 11, 2020.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Werksman argued that permitting even one extra witness would unfairly prejudice the jury towards his high-profile shopper.

The lawyer additionally mentioned his shopper’s “modus operandi” alleged by the brand new witnesses didn’t match the costs Weinstein is already dealing with.

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“Once they (the jury) hears all of these things that occurred actually over a 45-year interval. … There will probably be such confusion that this courtroom will lose management,” Werksman instructed the choose.

Weinstein, 70, has pleaded not responsible to a number of sex-crimes prices involving 5 unnamed girls. Prosecutors allege he raped three girls and assaulted two others between 2004 to 2013 in accommodations round Beverly Hills. 

Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at the courtroom for his sexual assault trial at Manhattan criminal court on February 3, 2020 in New York City.
Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting girls since 1978.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Photographs

Up to now, the choose has allowed a complete of 11 alleged victims to take the stand as soon as the trial begins in mid-September.

Earlier than Wednesday’s listening to ended, the choose requested Weinstein if he agreed that his trial would begin about 90 days from June 10.

After pausing for about 5 seconds to suppose over his response, a flabbergasted Weinstein replied,  “Sure, I’m simply considering of all of those new witnesses.” 

Weinstein paused once more and instructed the choose. “Okay, I’ll say sure.” 

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