Three weeks before his trial is scheduled to begin, former movie mogul and accused sexual predator Harvey Weinstein faces a new indictment. USA Today reports that a grand jury issued a new, sealed indictment Thursday against Weinstein.
The report quotes Danny Frost, a spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, saying that “an appearance has been scheduled for Monday for the defendant to be arraigned on an indictment.”
Because the indictment is sealed, Frost would not discuss details.
“Weinstein’s defense team, led by Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, decried what they called ‘an unprecedented fourth arraignment’ in Weinstein’s case, and reiterated their argument that the prosecution’s case against Weinstein is in disarray,” USA Today reports.
In a statement, Weinstein’s lawyers said: “There has been no case in recent memory where a district attorney has gone back to the grand jury on two separate occasions to re-present a case before that body in the hopes of obtaining an indictment that can withstand the scrutiny of a trial jury.”
The statement adds: “This action by the prosecutor bespeaks the desperation that has engulfed their case. We have reached the point where one must be concerned that these desperate measures indicate more of a focus on obtaining a conviction at all costs than on seeking justice.”
USA Today notes: “The new indictment won’t include additional charges. Instead, it will be a repeat of the earlier indictments issued against Weinstein, charging him with five sex crimes, including rape, involving two women in encounters in 2013 and 2006.”
The report adds that the new indictment is expected to include the testimony of a woman who did not testify before the earlier grand juries, who claims Weinstein raped her in New York in the winter of 1993-1994.