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A New York judge has denied Harvey Weinstein’s latest effort to have the criminal case against him dismissed and consolidated the two indictments against the producer, which means a Sopranos actress who accused him of rape will likely take the stand.
Prosecutors in August went back to a Grand Jury for a superseding indictment in order to call an additional witness who is believed to be Annabella Sciorra.
New York judge James Burke on Tuesday issued an ominbus ruling that declined Weinstein’s request to unseal the names of two complaining witnesses, one of which is reportedly Sciorra, and made several other rulings on witness testimony.
Barbara Ziv, an expert on sexual assault and rape trauma syndrome, will be allowed to testify over Weinstein’s objections. Weinstein’s experts on human memory, Deborah Davis and Elizabeth Loftus, will also be allowed to testify — but they won’t be allowed to provide testimony on issues of memory specifically tied to sexual interactions and “the phenomenon known as ‘voluntary unwanted sex.'”
Weinstein asked the court to dismiss two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, arguing that it requires that the defendant had committed an “underlying crime” and had engaged in an “aggravating crime.” Here the underlying crime is alleged to be a July 2016 rape and the aggravating crime is an alleged rape during the winter of 1993-1994, and Weinstein argued the alleged aggravating crime happened before the Predatory Sexual Assault statute was enacted in 2006 and therefore the two counts that relied upon it should be dismissed. Alternatively, he argued that they should be dismissed because the alleged victim of the mid-’90s rape can’t further narrow down when it happened. The producer also asked the court to dismiss the superseding indictment as a whole on procedural grounds.
Burke denied all three requests.
In another motion, Weinstein sought to suppress evidence from a search warrant for three email accounts (two work and one personal) that he believed to be overly broad and lacking probable cause. In denying that request, Burke points to The Weinstein Company’s employee handbook, which states computers are for business related to the company and not private or personal use and all messages therein are property of TWC not the employee. Burke also said he examined the warrant and found it to be appropriate.
Burke also denied a motion requesting the personnel records of a detective, and granted a motion to inspect the Grand Jury minutes.
The charges against Weinstein in the consolidated indictment are: “Counts One and Two, Predatory Sexual Assault; count Three, criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree; count Four, Rape in the First Degree; and Count Five, Rape in the Third Degree.”
Weinstein’s reps have not yet responded to a request for comment.
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