Harvey Weinstein posts new bond as pledge he won't flee sexual assault trial

Film producer Harvey Weinstein (C) exits the courtroom at the New York Supreme Court in New York, U.S., December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Harvey Weinstein posted additional security on Wednesday as a pledge that he will not flee a criminal sexual assault case brought by New York prosecutors, who had sought to increase his bail after he allegedly failed to wear his electronic ankle monitor.

Prosecutors had sought $5 million bail for the former Hollywood producer rather than the original $1 million, but Justice James Burke of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan agreed to let Weinstein post a $2 million insurance bond.

The insurance bond will be secured by Weinstein’s original bail and some other assets, Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, said outside the courthouse after the hearing.

Weinstein, 67, used a walker to enter the courthouse. Rotunno said he is expected to have back surgery on Thursday to alleviate pain caused by a car accident in August.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that he sexually assaulted two women, one in 2006 and another in 2013. A trial is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2020, and Weinstein could face life in prison if convicted on the top counts.

Prosecutors last week said Weinstein’s bail should be increased because he had failed to wear an electronic transmitter that works in tandem with his ankle bracelet on “numerous” occasions, violating his bail. Rotunno had said those apparent violations were caused by technical problems.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct dating back decades by more than 70 women. He has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters were consensual.

The accusations against Weinstein helped spark the #MeToo movement in late 2017, in which hundreds of women have claimed sexual misconduct by powerful men in entertainment, business, media, politics and other fields.

In addition to the two main accusers in the case, prosecutors have said they intend to call other women to testify at trial in order to establish a pattern of behavior.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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