Magazine article Screen International

Harvey Weinstein to Stand Trial for Sex Offences in 2019

Magazine article Screen International

Harvey Weinstein to Stand Trial for Sex Offences in 2019

Article excerpt

Disgraced mogul’s attorney vows to defend case ‘vigorously’ at trial.

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will stand trial in 2019 on five sex offence charges including two counts of rape after a New York judge threw out an attempt to dismiss the case.

Judge James Burke on Thursday (20) set a preliminary trial date for March 7, ruling that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office working with the New York Police Department conducted the Grand Jury case in a “legally and procedurally proper” manner.

Weinstein’s chief attorney on the case, Benjamin Brafman, issued a statement expressing disappointment but vowed to fight “vigorously” at trial where “we are confident that Mr Weinstein will be completely exonerated.”

Thursday’s developments set the scene for a potentially ugly and sensational courtroom event involving the former New York Hollywood executive who lorded over awards season and the Cannes Film Festival for many years and has in the past 14 months been accused of sex crimes by more than 60 women.

Judge Burke ruled against arguments by Brafman, that both rape charges (one for first degree, one for third degree) and a charge of predatory sexual assault should be thrown out because prosecutors failed to provide evidence of a “long term consensual relationship” between Weinstein and one of the accusers.

He also dismissed the argument that the remaining charges should be thrown out after the defence claimed there was “additional” exculpatory evidence relating to another complaint that prosecutors did not present to the Grand Jury.

Judge Burke said prosecutors enjoyed “wide discretion” in presenting a case to the Grand Jury and were not obliged to present exculpatory or mitigating evidence at that stage, search for evidence favourable to the defence, or present all evidence in their possession favourable to the defendant. …

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