Prosecutors hoping to put fallen film boss Harvey Weinstein behind bars have confirmed they want one of his alleged victims, actress Annabella Sciorra, to testify against him.
The Sopranos star’s rape allegations against the movie producer cannot be part of the case, because they are from 26 years ago and the statute of limitations has long passed on her testimony – but New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. and his team hope Sciorra’s recollections will be admitted as examples of Weinstein’s behaviour.
Opposing the move, defence lawyer Diana Fabi Samson released a statement on Friday (16Aug19), which read: “As the DA well knows, it is unconstitutional to charge this defendant with a 25-year old alleged crime that predates the enactment of the statute and is time-barred… Should the DA re-present this case yet again, the judge will then have the opportunity to dismiss the charge on constitutional grounds.”
But, if the actress is allowed to testify, it is likely the 9 September (19) trial start date could be pushed back a month to allow the defence team the necessary 45 days to respond.
The trial is expected to last five weeks.
Weinstein is facing two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape.
If he’s found guilty, the 67-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars.