Washington: American film mogul Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to a new indictment on Monday that included charges of predatory sexual assault, a development that caused the judge to delay the start of his trial until early next year.
The twist in the case was considered to open the door for an actor to testify against the ace filmmaker in a rape and sexual assault trial that had been scheduled to start on September 9, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
Weinstein, who was present at the Manhattan courthouse, refrained himself speaking with the reporters.
After the hearing, his lawyers said they would ask the judge to dismiss the charges, which they called a “desperate” attempt to retrieve the case.
“I think the case itself is weak,” said his lawyer Donna Rotunno.
Weinstein previously pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.
Prosecutors said that the new indictment was needed to bring evidence involving Annabella Sciorra. According to Sciorra, Weinstein raped her inside her Manhattan apartment after she starred in a film for his movie studio in 1993.
The actor isn’t being added as a victim in the case, because the alleged attack took place long back which cannot be prosecuted under the state law, but the prosecutors want to use her testimony to prove that Weinstein had a pattern of assaulting a woman.