Harvey Weinstein’s latest hearing in his sexual assault case was delayed Friday morning when a flood caused a lockdown at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, the Los Angeles prison where the convicted rapist is currently behind bars.
“Just a routine delay,” one of Weinstein’s attorneys, Mark Werksman, told members of the media who were sitting in the courtroom.
“My client, on the payphone, is still in his cell,” Weinstein’s attorney said at 9:29 a.m., asking for an update from the bailiff, who was on the phone with the prison, trying to arrange transportation for Weinstein to be escorted to the courthouse for the hearing.
“It is my understanding,” Judge Lisa B. Lench began, “That there was a flood at Twin Towers where Mr. Weinstein is housed. It is now 9:40.”
The hearing was originally scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. It was the latest court date, leading up to Weinstein’s long-awaited Los Angeles sexual assault and rape trial. Judge Lench pushed the hearing to Aug. 10 but first dealt with a few matters regarding the defense’s subpoenas to witnesses.
Earlier this week, in another hearing for the case, Judge Lench ruled to limit the amount of information that could be obtained by Weinstein’s defense team for the upcoming trial, approving the prosecution’s motion to quash subpoenas from four witnesses for their correspondence, including personal emails and texts dating as far back as 2004 with one of the alleged victims. At that hearing, however, the judge said she wouldn’t prevent the defense from serving future subpoenas to victims and would not ask them to notify the prosecution in advance of their attempts to serve.
On Friday morning, discussions got a bit heated with the prosecution objecting to Weinstein’s attorney, Alan Jackson, who argued that the defense has the right to subpoena witnesses without giving advanced notice to the prosecution.
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SOURCE: Variety, Elizabeth Wagmeister