More Weinstein Accusers Could Testify in Retrial

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Prosecutors suggest that new indictments against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein may be imminent, implying that accusers who were previously hesitant might now be prepared to speak out.

Weinstein’s 2020 sexual assault convictions were overturned by an appeals court, and prosecutors have started the process of retrying the case.

At a court appearance on Wednesday, both the prosecution and the defense began addressing legal issues pertaining to the retrial. Jessica Mann, one of the original trial’s accusers, has agreed to testify once more. It appears that other women may also be ready to step forward.

New charges might be filed in June, and the judge has instructed both parties not to discuss the case with the media.

The allegations against Weinstein were a key catalyst for the #MeToo movement, where numerous sexual assault survivors shared their stories. Over 80 women have accused Weinstein of assault, harassment, or rape, with some allegations dating back to the 1970s.

Several high-profile celebrities, including Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, Kate Beckinsale, Darryl Hannah, Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Lena Headey, Mira Sorvino, and Ashley Judd, were among those who came forward.

Women who accused Weinstein of sexual assault claim he leveraged his influence in the film industry to ensure their silence. Journalist Ronan Farrow reported that Weinstein employed a private intelligence firm to quash allegations and prevent their publication.

In 2018, Weinstein was charged with sexual assault against two women in New York. However, many who spoke out about their experiences could not bring their cases to trial due to statutes of limitations or because their experiences constituted sexual harassment, which is a civil violation, not assault.

Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault and rape, but the conviction was later overturned by an appeals court. During the case, the prosecution introduced testimonies from other women who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct to establish a pattern of predatory behavior, which the appeals court ruled should not have been permitted.

Prosecutors decided to retry the case and suggested at Wednesday’s hearing that further charges may follow. It remains unclear how many more women might step forward or the specific nature of the charges.

Weinstein is still serving a sentence on another sexual assault conviction in Los Angeles.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Steph Whiteside
Steph Whiteside
Digital reporter with a focus on breaking news.

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