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Judge to Weinstein: Put Away Your Phone

He pleads not guilty as trial is delayed until January
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2019 11:28 AM CDT
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Harvey Weinstein, center, appears in a courthouse for a scheduled arraignment Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in New York.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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(Newser) – Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to a new indictment Monday that includes revised charges of predatory sexual assault, a development that caused the judge to delay the start of his trial until early next year. The change to the case was intended to open the door for an actress to testify against Weinstein in a rape and sexual assault trial that had been scheduled to start on Sept. 9, per the AP. Weinstein mostly kept quiet during a brief appearance in a Manhattan courtroom aside from some brief exchanges with Judge James Burke, who at one point scolded him for pulling out his cell phone during the proceeding. After the judge agreed with defense lawyers that the trial needed to be put off so they could have time to respond to the revised charges, he told them the new trial date of Jan. 6 was firm.

To make the point, he stared at the defendant and asked, "Mr. Weinstein, do you want to go to trial?" "Not really," he quipped. Weinstein, 67, who's free on $1 million bail, has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex. Weinstein previously pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. The case remains about those two women, but prosecutors said the new indictment was needed to allow a third woman, Annabella Sciorra, to testify. Sciorra, who is best known for her work on The Sopranos, says Weinstein raped her in 1993. Prosecutors can't charge Weinstein with the alleged attack on Sciorra because it took place too long ago to be prosecuted under state law, but they want to use her testimony to prove that Weinstein had a pattern of assaulting women.

(Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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