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Just two weeks before his trial was set to begin and nearly two years after the accusations against him helped spark the #MeToo movement, Harvey Weinstein was granted a temporary reprieve: Thanks to a new indictment, his trial will now be delayed until January.
Weinstein, 67, appeared in a Manhattan courtroom Monday and pleaded not guilty to the indictment of predatory sexual assault.
The indictment will allow "The Sopranos" actor Annabella Sciorra, who says the powerful media mogul raped her in her New York apartment in 1993 or 1994, to testify in the larger case against Weinstein.
Sciorra’s allegation is too old to be prosecuted under state law, but prosecutors believe her testimony will strengthen the case against him. Weinstein will stand trial over allegations that he sexually assaulted two other women, in 2013 and 2006.
Prosecutors are hoping to convict Weinstein for “predatory sexual assault,” meaning that they must show he seriously sexually assaulted at least two women. If convicted, Weinstein could spend decades in jail.
In the wake of explosive New York Times and New Yorker stories that alleged Weinstein had spent decades sexually harassing women, more than 80 people have accused the toppled movie mogul of inappropriate behavior. Weinstein has maintained that he never forced anybody into sex, and is currently out on $1 million bail, according to USA Today.
This isn’t the first time Weinstein’s trial has been delayed; in January, he swapped out his legal team and postponed the trial from its original May start date. On Monday, his new attorneys said the introduction of the new indictment revealed that prosecutors are “desperate.”
"It's not new. It's a new way to attempt to do it," Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno told CNN, adding that his legal team will try to get the new indictment dismissed.
Cover: Harvey Weinstein leaves court Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 in New York. Weinstein's lawyers want the trial moved from New York City to Long Island or upstate New York - part of the last-minute wrangling that includes efforts by prosecutors to bolster their case with testimony from actress Annabella Sciorra, who says Weinstein raped her in the 1990s. Weinstein has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)