US judge allows ‘Sopranos’ actress to testify against Weinstein
Published: Nov 28, 2019 03:28 PM

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at a New York City police department precinct to turn himself in to face multiple charges related to allegations of sexual assault on Friday. According to reports, Weinstein is facing charges of first-degree rape and third-degree rape in one case, and first-degree criminal sex act in another case. Photo: VCG

A New York judge has ruled that The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra is allowed to testify at fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's trial, court documents showed Wednesday.

In a decision filed late Tuesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke also denied a last-ditch attempt by Weinstein's attorneys to have predatory sexual assault charges against their client dropped.

Weinstein - once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood - has pleaded not guilty to five charges of sexual assault relating to two women.

His trial is scheduled to start on January 6, 2020. He faces life in prison if convicted.

One of the women alleges Weinstein raped her in 2013, while the other claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006.

His lawyers had sought to prevent prosecutors from calling a third woman, who alleges that she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein over the winter of 1993-94, to give evidence.

Burke rejected their request.

The woman is not named in court documents but it widely understood to be Sciorra, 59.

She helped trigger the #MeToo movement in October 2017 when she told The New Yorker magazine that Weinstein raped her at her home in Manhattan in 1993.

Weinstein, 67, cannot be charged with raping Sciorra because the statute of limitations has expired. Prosecutors hope that her giving evidence as a corroborating witness will strengthen their case.

Weinstein has been accused of harassment and assault by more than 80 women, including stars such as Ashley Judd.

The co-founder of Miramax and producer of Pulp Fiction, has always insisted his sexual relationships were consensual.