NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A witness at Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault trial corroborated one of the charges Tuesday.
Weinstein entered the courtroom to hear testimony from the former roommate of one of his accusers.READ MORE: NYPD: Delivery Worker Stabbed To Death, E-Bike Stolen Near Sara D. Roosevelt Park
On Monday, Miriam Haley told the court Weinstein assaulted her when she went to his apartment for a meeting in 2006.
Haley’s former roommate told the jury on Tuesday that Haley had told her about the attack soon after.
Weinstein is also accused of raping a woman in 2013. He says the sexual encounters were consensual.
While Weinstein is charged in sexual attacks on two women, Manhattan prosecutors are having four more testify about alleged misconduct as part of an effort to portray him as a serial offender.
The same strategy helped convict comedian Bill Cosby at his Pennsylvania molestation retrial in 2018. There, prosecutors brought in five additional accusers, even though Cosby was only charged with sexually assaulting one woman.READ MORE: Gabby Petito Foundation Holds Fundraiser On Long Island
“The problem becomes: How is it fair to Weinstein to have the prosecution bring in now six women that are going to testify about these incidents, many of which are beyond the statute of limitations?” said Frank Perrone, a lawyer and former prosecutor who is not involved in the case.
Legal experts said that while New York law greatly limits how much a jury can hear about a defendant’s past, uncharged misbehavior, there are circumstances where it is allowed.
The testimony can’t be used to suggest that Weinstein had a propensity to engage in sex crimes, but can be used to explore things like motive, opportunity, intent and a common scheme or plan.
“It’s very powerful evidence, no doubt about it. That’s why prosecutors want it,” said Matthew Galluzzo, a defense lawyer and former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor who’s not involved in Weinstein’s case.
Jurors last week also heard emotional testimony from actress Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein raped her more than 25 years ago. The state’s statue of limitations bars a rape prosecution, but Sciorra’s allegations have been incorporated into formal charges that the two later alleged attacks were part of a pattern of predatory behavior.
Additionally, prosecutors are set to call three more women to the stand in coming days to testify about alleged encounters with Weinstein. All three were aspiring actresses. All were in their early 20s when they say they were assaulted. All say they had looked to Weinstein for career development, not romance.
Weinstein lawyer Damon Cheronis said the extra witnesses are a distraction. He told jurors in an opening statement that prosecutors’ strategy “is not going to work.”MORE NEWS: Police: Suspect In Killing Of New Rochelle Taxi Driver Taken Into Custody After Shootout In Brooklyn
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