Harvey Weinstein Indictment Opens Possibility Of Past Accusers Testifying At Trial

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein made the choice Wednesday to not provide testimony to the grand jury that found cause to indict him on criminal sexual assault and rape charges.

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer working for Weinstein, says that his client chose not to testify before the grand jury after being denied vital information that would have given him the opportunity to properly prepare.

The most serious acts charged by the grand jury is a first-degree felony resulting from allegations that Weinstein forced a woman to perform oral sex on him in 2004. Additional first and third-degree charges were added to the docket against Weinstein for incidents taking place in 2013 in which Weinstein is said to have committed rape by means of “forcible compulsion.”

The most serious charges filed against Weinstein can possibly result in a sentence from five to 25 years in the New York State Prison system.

Brafman says that all sexual acts were consensual and went on to say that one of the alleged victims was in a ten-year physical relationship with Weinstein and that the relationship continued long after the alleged sexual assault.

A recent story published by the Hollywood Reporter speculated about whether prior incidents involving abuse of women by Weinstein could be introduced by prosecutors. The story referred to the recent conviction of comedian and television star Bill Cosby of a similar crime in which five women were allowed to testify about “prior acts” committed against them by Cosby.

Many legal experts believe that the additional testimony by the five women from previous acts was the single most significant factor leading to the conviction of Cosby.

Former Manhattan prosecutor, Mark Bederow, says that this type of testimony involving prior bad acts is something that is generally not allowed in New York courts. However, there are times when this testimony is admissible to establish that a defendant commits a signature type of crime.

Bederow added that it is his thoughts that in the Weinstein case prosecutors will paint the “casting couch scenario” in an attempt to have this evidence heard by jurors.

What Legal Actions Awat Harvey Weinstein?

Movie mogul Harvey Harvey Weinstein’s is having a rough time. More than fifty women (and some men) have come forward claiming that the film maker has sexually harassed them at different times over a long period of time.

The picture that is emerging is that of a powerful and influential figure in the film industry using his position for undignified gains. On the other hand, Weinstein has acknowledged that has “caused a lot of pain,” yet still claiming that some of the allegations are “patently false.”

But it is the legal implications of the long list of allegations that is likely to cause even more drama. Employment and labour law attorney Ann Fromholz said that regardless of Weinstein’s influences and his position at the company, The Weinstein Co. would be liable over sexual harassment claims even if they weren’t aware.

The four member board of the company had indicated that their commitment to participating in any investigations. “We are committed to assisting with our full energies in all criminal or other investigations of these alleged acts, while pursuing justice for the victims and a full and independent investigation of our own.” Read, a statement from the board.

Several board members resigned in the wake of the allegations. Details of whether the company or Weinstein had made any payments have not been substantiated.

Top celebrities, including award winning actress Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd,Gwyweth Paltrow among others have given grotesque accounts of their encounter with Weinstein at different times in their career. Actress Rose McGowan is reported to have reached a $100 000 settlement with Weinstein to “avoid litigation and buy peace,” after an ugly encounter with the film mogul in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.

The allegations on Harvey Weinstein have cast a pale shadow on work ethics in Hollywood. Focus now shifts to whether there will be lawsuits emerging from the Weinsten scandal even as Weinstein reportedly takes time for counseling and to concentrate on his family.