Los Angeles prosecutors have indicted producer Harvey Weinstein for a fourth time, reviving a sexual battery charge that was thrown out by a judge last week.
Judge Lisa B. Lench had dismissed the charge on statute of limitations grounds, finding that the grand jury had not considered evidence that would allow the charge to be indicted after a 10-year deadline.
The prosecution obtained a fresh indictment from the grand jury on Wednesday afternoon, which now includes seven additional findings on the disputed count. In total, Weinstein faces 11 charges of rape and sexual assault pertaining to five victims.
The disgraced producer is being housed at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles while he awaits trial, after being extradited from New York in July.
The disputed charge pertains to an incident at a Beverly Hills hotel room on May 11, 2010. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office first filed the charge in April 2020 — just within the 10-year statute of limitations.
In March, prosecutors went to a grand jury to obtain a superseding indictment — a fairly routine practice that avoids the need for witnesses to testify publicly at a preliminary hearing.
Weinstein defense attorney Alan Jackson has argued that the indictment triggered a new case, and that since the alleged conduct was nearly 11 years old by the time of the indictment, it could no longer be prosecuted.
Lench agreed with the defense, dismissing the charge at a hearing in July. The D.A.’s office was given an opportunity to amend the indictment, however, and it did so twice — adding language stating that the charge was part of a continuous prosecution.
That was not good enough for the judge, and on Aug. 12 she again dismissed the charge, finding that the D.A. had not presented evidence to the grand jury that would toll the statute of limitations.
The D.A.’s office is now hoping that the third attempt to amend the indictment will be the charm. Weinstein is due to be arraigned on the new indictment on Aug. 23, and also has a court appearance set for Sept. 13.