Harvey Weinstein Gets New Bail Hearing on Sex Crime Charges Thanks to New York Reforms

By Dunleavy, Jerry | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, December 6, 2019 | Go to article overview

Harvey Weinstein Gets New Bail Hearing on Sex Crime Charges Thanks to New York Reforms


Dunleavy, Jerry, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Harvey Weinstein wasn’t the poster child for New York’s new law eliminating cash bail for most nonviolent offenses passed this year, but the reforms opened questions about his bail terms in court Friday.

Weinstein, who faces a host of sex crime felony charges, entered a Manhattan courthouse Friday morning with the help of an aide and a cane. The judge made him aware of the changes in New York’s criminal justice reforms set to take effect on the first day of the new year. The 67-year-old has been free on $1 million bail since 2018, although he’s required to wear an ankle monitor, is only allowed to travel to New York and Connecticut, turned in his passport to ensure he doesn’t flee the country, and agreed not to fight extradition if he managed to slip out of the country and was caught.

During the short court hearing, prosecutors asked for a media gag order against Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno, which was rejected by the court, and the judge indicated a final bail decision taking into account New York's bail reforms would likely be made during a follow-up hearing next Wednesday. So, for now, Weinstein’s current bail terms remain in place.

“We’re coming back to court on Wednesday, so I don’t want to get into it too in depthly,” Rotunno told reporters outside the courthouse. “But I think the judge is attempting to leave the bail conditions as close to what they already are as he can given the new statute, so that’s what we’re going to wait for on Wednesday.”

Weinstein, the powerful Hollywood film mogul who has denied allegations of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, has already pleaded not guilty to two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act, and two counts of rape. Weinstein faces the felony charges after two different women alleged he sexually assaulted them in 2006 and 2013. Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra will also testify Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1993 or 1994, though her allegation falls outside the statute of limitations.

The Oscar-winning producer’s trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 6.

Earlier this year, New York lawmakers passed sweeping reforms, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to address the financial disparity in the state's cash bail system. …

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