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Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty to New Indictment, Trial Moved to January

Harvey Weinstein, the movie mogul whose fall from power galvanized the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, pleaded not guilty to a new indictment on Monday.

The film producer previously entered not guilty pleas to five charges of rape, sexual assault, and “predatory sexual assault,” stemming from allegations from two women. Prosecutors are seeking to bolster their case against Weinstein and want jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the “Sopranos” actress who alleges that Weinstein raped her in 1993.

The trial, which was scheduled to start in September, has been pushed back to Jan. 6, 2020. The extra time will allow the defense to file its opposition to the new indictment. A ruling on that issue is due on Nov. 7.

Weinstein entered a Manhattan court house looking visibly thinner and walking with a pronounced limp. The producer was reprimanded by New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke at one point in the 10-minute hearing for using his cellphone.

“Please refrain from doing that,” Burke said. “It’s a court order.”

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When Burke asked directly if he wanted to go to trial, Weinstein said, “not really.” His response drew scattered laughter.

Weinstein’s lawyers have been pushing to get the trial moved out of New York City, calling it a “circus-like atmosphere.” They have also slammed the prosecution for adding Sciorra’s allegations to the other claims, an “11th-hour maneuver.” In a press conference following the hearing, Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno called the prosecution “desperate.”

“We just received a copy of the indictment and we plan on filing many motions to dismiss these counts,” said Rotunno.

The statute of limitations has run out on Sciorra’s claims, but she may be allowed to testify in the trial.

The D.A.’s office disclosed on Monday that it has also been granted permission to call three “Molineux” witnesses at the trial. Such witnesses can be used to establish “prior bad acts” even if their claims occurred outside the statute of limitations or in another jurisdiction. According to a D.A. filing, one of the witnesses will testify to an incident that occurred at a hotel in Manhattan in the spring of 2004; another will testify about an event at Weinstein’s home in the summer of 2005; and the third will testify about an incident at a Beverly Hills hotel in February 2013. The accusers were not identified in the filing.

The defense has already opposed the introduction of those witnesses, and Burke has denied their objections.

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