Harvey Weinstein’s new legal team are asking New York Supreme Court Justice James Burk for the trial to be delayed, Deadline reports.
Weinstein faces an early May court date on five felony charges, all sex-related crimes. Specifically, two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, one count of first-degree rape, and one count of third-degree rape.
If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in jail under New York State law.
Weinstein’s lawyers, Jose Baez, Ronald Sullivan, Duncan Lewin, and Pam Mackey, were brought on to the case a month ago. Weinstein fired his previous legal team for their failure to get the case dismissed.
It is not unusual for lawyers to request an extension after being hired late into a legal procedure, however, Weinstein’s wishes of getting such a high-profile case tossed out are unrealistic.
Over 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault or sexual harassment, the public outcry was instrumental in the creation of the “#MeToo” movement.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Orbon-Illuzzi leads the prosecution, and she has the option to fight for the court to proceed at the agreed date, but is expected to willingly concede to a delay for a few weeks and give their opposition time to catch up before the trial.
Failure to do so might give Weinstein grounds for an appeal if found guilty.
Weinstein’s lawyers also recently motioned to pause Ashley Judd’s lawsuit against their client, their reasoning being that evidence presented in that civil trial could influence his criminal trial, leaving Weinstein open to self-incrimination. Her lawyers rapidly blocked the motion.
“Ms. Judd will be sensitive to the scheduling of Weinstein’s criminal trial. But there is no reason why he cannot testify under oath about, among other things, what he said to filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh about Ms. Judd. Weinstein makes no effort to show how even questions about Weinstein conditioning work on sex would result in evidence that could be admitted in his criminal trial for rape and criminal sexual acts. The fact is, they would not.”
Ashley Judd’s lawsuit is unrelated to Weinstein’s rape allegations.
Judd argues that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh wanted to cast her in the Lord of the Rings movies, but Weinstein vetoed it because she refused to have sex with him. Her case will go to trial in early 2020.
Police investigations into Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct are still open in L.A., New York, and the U.K.