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Harvey Weinstein under investigation for further sexual assaults, prosecutor says Reuters

By Jack Queen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Prosecutors are investigating “additional brutal sexual assaults” by former Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and plan to seek a new indictment after his previous conviction was overturned, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Nicole Blumberg testified at a hearing before Judge Curtis Farber in New York State Criminal Court in Manhattan that the additional assaults Weinstein allegedly committed are still subject to the statute of limitations and could be charged as felonies.

Weinstein was found guilty of rape charges in 2020, marking a milestone for the #MeToo movement, in which women have accused hundreds of men in entertainment, media, politics and other sectors of sexual misconduct.

A jury found that the 72-year-old co-founder of Miramax film studio sexually assaulted former production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006 and raped aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013. They are among more than 80 women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

He was sentenced to 23 years in prison, but the New York Court of Appeals in April ruled that Judge James Burke, who presided over the trial, made a serious error by allowing three women to testify about alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein that were not part of the criminal charges against him during the proceedings.

The court found that testimony about “prior bad acts” violated his right to a fair trial.

Weinstein has denied having contact with anyone without their consent. Arthur Aidala, Weinstein’s lawyer, said Tuesday it was unfair for prosecutors to seek to add additional victims to the case after the conviction was overturned.

“We have once again activated the hotline: ‘1-800 Get Harvey,’” Aidala said in court.

Weinstein has suffered a number of health problems while in solitary confinement at Rikers Island in New York, Aidala said. He accused prosecutors of using delaying tactics to keep Weinstein in prison, an allegation Blumberg has denied.

“As we said in 2020, there were women who were not ready to continue with the legal process. Some of those women are now ready to continue,” Blumberg said.

Prosecutors will be ready to try the case in the fall, Blumberg said, but no trial date has been set. Weinstein is due back in court on July 19.

Weinstein was also sentenced to 16 years in prison after a separate rape trial in California. That conviction was not affected by the New York court’s decision, and he has not begun serving his sentence in California.

Miramax’s hits include “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction.” Weinstein’s own eponymous studio filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.