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Harvey Weinstein may face new charges as more accusers come forward, New York prosecutors say

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan prosecutors told a judge Wednesday they are evaluating new claims of sexual misconduct made against Harvey Weinstein and could potentially seek a new indictment against the former movie mogul ahead of his scheduled retrial o
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Harvey Weinstein appears in Manhattan Criminal Court, Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in New York. The fallen movie mogul is awaiting a retrial on rape charges after his 2020 conviction was tossed out. Wednesday's court hearing addressed various legal issues related to the upcoming trial, which is tentatively scheduled for some time after Labor Day. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan prosecutors told a judge Wednesday they are evaluating new claims of sexual misconduct made against Harvey Weinstein and could potentially seek a new indictment against the former movie mogul ahead of his scheduled retrial on rape charges later this year.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg said during a court hearing that additional people have come forward with assault claims and prosecutors are currently assessing which fall under the statute of limitations.

She said some potential survivors that were not ready to step forward during Weinstein’s first New York trial may now be willing to testify.

When asked by Judge Curtis Farber whether there was a possibility of prosecutors filing a new indictment, Blumberg replied: “Yes, your honor.”

Weinstein appeared before the judge Wednesday afternoon in the same New York City courthouse where former President Donald Trump is on trial.

He entered the court in a wheelchair, as he has during other recent court hearings after his 2020 conviction was tossed out. Weinstein has suffered from medical problems throughout his time in jail, his lawyers have said.

Blumberg said prosecutors would be in a better position to update the court on the direction of the case at the end of June. The retrial on the rape charge is tentatively scheduled for some time after Labor Day.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, told reporters outside the courthouse after the hearing that his client was confident no additional accusers would be found to bolster the prosecution's case.

“He knows he's never done anything like this,” Aidala said of Weinstein.

Earlier, in court, Aidala also addressed a letter prosecutors sent to the judge last week asking him to remind Weinstein’s lawyers not to discuss or disparage potential witnesses in public ahead of the retrial.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office argues that Aidala made statements earlier this month that were meant to intimidate Miriam Haley, a former TV and film production assistant who Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting.

Aidala apologized to the judge but said he didn’t intend to intimidate anyone and that it is the defense’s position that “lies were told at the last trial, and will be told at this one.”

Farber, in response, directed both sides to “refrain from pandering to press,” saying the case will “not be decided in the court of public opinion” but in the court of justice.

He also set the next court date for July 9.

Weinstein's original trial was held in the same courtroom where Trump is on trial now, but the two men were unlikely to bump into each other. Weinstein is in custody and was brought to and from the courtroom under guard. He appeared in a courtroom on a different floor than where Trump is currently on trial.

At his 2020 trial, Weinstein was convicted of raping Jessica Mann, an aspiring actor, and of sexually assaulting Haley. But last month New York’s highest court threw out those convictions after determining that the trial judge unfairly allowed testimony against him based on allegations from other women that weren’t part of the case. Weinstein, 72, has maintained that any sexual activity was consensual.

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

Speaking outside of court on May 1, Aidala said Haley lied to the jury about her motive in coming forward and that his team planned an aggressive cross-examination on the issue “if she dares to come and show her face here.”

Haley has said she does not want to go through the trauma of testifying again, “but for the sake of keeping going and doing the right thing and because it is what happened, I would consider it.”

The Associated Press does not generally identify people alleging sexual assault unless they consent to be named, as both Haley and Mann have.

Weinstein, who had been serving a 23-year sentence in New York, was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape and is still sentenced to 16 years in prison in California.

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Follow Philip Marcelo at twitter.com/philmarcelo.

Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press