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New York prosecutors plan to bring new sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein ahead of retrial

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday they plan to bring new sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, with the disgraced media mogul expected to be retried in November.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg told the court that prosecutors are actively pursuing claims of rape in Manhattan within the statute of limitations.

She added that some potential survivors who were not prepared to come forward during Weinstein’s first New York trial have indicated they are now willing to testify.

But when pressed by the judge, Blumberg said prosecutors had not yet presented their findings to the jury. She also said she could not give the court a timetable for completing the investigation.

“People are still investigating in a trauma-informed way,” she said. “It’s an ongoing process.”

Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, with his client sitting next to him in a wheelchair, suggested that the investigation was simply a delaying tactic by prosecutors, adding that something similar happened before the first rape trial.

“They’re calling ‘1-800-Get-Harvey,’ again,” he said outside the courthouse after the morning hearing. “They’re trying to find someone else to come forward because I think they don’t think their current case is strong enough.”

In court, Blumberg rejected that idea and said prosecutors planned to start the trial in the fall.

“There are certainly no delaying tactics on our part,” she said. “We are proceeding in the most expeditious manner.”

Asked by Judge Curtis Farber what month she envisioned, Blumberg replied, “November would be a realistic date.”

Aidala said his client simply wants the trial to start as soon as possible, noting he is in his fifth year of prison.

“He is suffering a lot,” Aidala said, adding that the 72-year-old has macular degeneration, fluid in his lungs and heart and diabetes, which is “very serious” due to a poor diet behind bars.

“He’s basically not getting any treatment for this,” Aidala said. “This is not a young man. This is a sick man.”

“These tactics used by prosecutors are simply delay, delay, delay,” he added.

Judge Farber set the next pretrial hearing for July 19.

Among those present in the packed courtroom Tuesday was Jessica Mann, the former Weinstein actress convicted of rape in 2020.

Mann has not spoken to reporters, but prosecutors have said she is willing to testify against Weinstein again.

Weinstein’s second accuser, Mimi Haley, did not appear at Tuesday’s hearing and expressed reluctance to go through the trauma of testifying again. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said in an email Tuesday that her client had not yet made a decision about whether to participate in a retrial.

The Associated Press typically does not reveal the identities of people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they consent, as Haley and Mann did.

Weinstein maintained that all sexual activity was consensual.

He is currently being held at the Rikers Island city jail, where his lawyers complain that he is not receiving adequate medical care and remains in isolation.

“He was in better shape before his case was withdrawn when he was in a hospital upstate where he was receiving treatment and medication,” Aidala said Tuesday after the hearing.

Behind bars, Weinstein calls his representatives almost daily and “reads a lot,” he added. His latest reading is a book about 20th Century Fox and the film industry.

In April, New York’s highest court threw out Weinstein’s rape conviction after finding that the judge presiding over the case had wrongly admitted incriminating testimony against him, relying on accusations from other women who were not part of the case.

The ruling reopened a painful chapter in America’s reckoning with sexual harassment by powerful figures. The #MeToo era began in 2017 with a flood of accusations against Weinstein.

Weinstein, who was serving a 23-year sentence in New York, was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape and remains sentenced to 16 years in prison in California. But in an appeal filed last month in the Second District Court of Appeal for California, Weinstein’s lawyers argued that he did not receive a fair trial in Los Angeles.

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Follow Philip Marcelo on twitter.com/philmarcelo.

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An earlier version of the report misspelled the name of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg.

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