Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court on Monday to a new indictment involving two new charges of predatory sexual assault that allow Sopranos actress Annabella to testify against the disgraced movie mogul about her allegations that he raped her in 1993.
According to the indictment, Sciorra has accused Weinstein of sexually and orally raping her inside her Gramercy Park apartment over the “winter season spanning 1993 to 1994.”
Weinstein’s upcoming trial, which was set to begin in early September, has been postponed to Jan. 6.
Sciorra was not part of the original case and is outside the statute of limitations. The new indictment, however, will allow Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to prosecute Sciorra’s alleged rape in conjunction with two more recent allegations from 2006 and 2013 under the legal theory that the offenses are “joinable,” and can therefore support charges of predatory sexual assault against Weinstein.
Under New York state law, offenses can be consolidated if they meet certain criteria, such as if the offenses in question “are based upon the same act or upon the same criminal transaction,” or if proving one offense is supporting evidence for another offense.
By joining the offenses, prosecutors have successfully requested that all three alleged offenses be heard at a single trial, giving Sciorra her day in court.
Gloria Allred, the attorney who represents one of the previous victims, spoke outside the courtroom on Monday and announced that she will also represent Sciorra at the January trial.
“Annabella has done what anyone who has information which is relevant to the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein or any prosecution should do, she provided that information to law enforcement,” Allred said. “As a result she was asked by the prosecution to testify in this criminal case against Mr. Weinstein.”
The original indictment alleges that Weinstein, 67, raped a woman in 2013 and orally raped a different women in 2006. To convict on predatory assault charges, a court must find him guilty of assault against at least two women.
Because Sciorra did not testify before the original grand jury, she could not testify at his upcoming trial without the new indictment. Weinstein’s legal team was informed in mid-August that the prosecutors were going to go back to the grand jury to include the testimony of a “significant witness”who is believed to be Sciorra.
Weinstein’s attorneys contest the new indictment as an “11th hour maneuver.”
His lawyers Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala issued a statement on Monday. “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,” they said.
Weinstein has denied all accusations that he participated in nonconsensual sex. This is the third indictment for the disgraced Hollywood producer and his fourth arraignment.
The Associated Press reports that Weinstein’s lawyers are also petitioning the court to move his trial out of New York City due to pretrial publicity.