Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to two new counts of sexual assault in New York City on Monday after prosecutors in Manhattan sought to introduce a new accuser to the case just weeks before the disgraced mogul’s criminal trial was set to begin.
Weinstein’s trial date had been set for Sept. 9. But after prosecutors presented a new indictment containing two new allegations of predatory sexual assault, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge James Burke pushed the trial date back to Jan. 6, 2020.
Earlier this month, Burke blocked prosecutors’ attempt to include an allegation that Weinstein had committed rape in 1993 to the current criminal case, noting that evidence had not been presented to the grand jury that indicted Weinstein on charges of predatory sexual assault and rape last year.
As a result, prosecutors re-presented their case to a grand jury this month, leading to the new indictment. Weinstein was originally facing two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, one count of rape in the first degree and one count of rape in the third degree.
The new allegation was brought by “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra. In court documents made public Monday, prosecutors said that the assault took place in “the winter season spanning 1993-1994″ inside a Gramercy Park apartment.
Last week, Weinstein’s defense attorneys said the last-minute addition by prosecutors highlighted the “desperation” of their case.
“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,” attorneys Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala said.
Weinstein has repeatedly insisted he is innocent and pleaded not guilty to existing charges.
Gloria Allred, who is representing Sciorra, told reporters Monday that she commended her client’s bravery to “take the stand and answer questions under oath.”
“She has been willing to do that and share her truth even though she could anticipate a vigorous cross-examination by the defense,” said Allred, who is also representing another victim in the New York case, whose identity remains unknown.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by more than 80 women in New York, California and London.
Earlier this month, it was revealed in court papers that Burke had granted a motion to allow the prosecution to call some of those accusers to testify at trial. Those women include an alleged victim who claims that Weinstein assaulted her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013, and women who say that the mogul attacked them in New York in 2004 and 2005, according to filings made public Monday.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.