Prosecutors Accuse Harvey Weinstein of Misusing Ankle Monitor
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
December 8, 2019
Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was back in court on Friday as prosecutors sought to increase the mogul's bail to $5 million after he reportedly violated his bail conditions by mishandling his electronic ankle monitor that left his whereabouts unaccounted for for several hours.
During a pre-trial hearing on Friday, Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told a judge that Weinstein had repeatedly violated his bail conditions by leaving a piece of his ankle bracelet at home that keeps it activated.
"None of these violations were accidental," Illuzzi argued, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors are also seeking an increase of Weinstein's bail from $1 million to $5 million while he awaits trial on rape and assault charges which is scheduled to begin in January.
Weinstein's defense attorney, Donna Rotunno said her client did not deliberately mishandle his ankle monitor, and instead blamed "technical glitches" like dead batteries for any violation.
“It has nothing to do with any manipulation of the bracelet,” Rotunno told reporters on Friday. However, Rotunno did acknowledge that Weinstein had forgotten a part of the device when leaving his home, but that "the minute he realized he forgot it, he made a phone call."
Weinstein was also seen entering court with a limp, which Rotunno said was due to back issues that "we're hoping to address this week."
The judge did not rule whether Weinstein violated his bail conditions, putting off any decision until next week.
Weinstein was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury earlier this year on rape charges after a woman accused the former Hollywood producer of forcing her to perform oral sex after he lured her to his Tribeca office for a meeting about her career in 2004. A second accuser, who has not been identified, says Weinstein raped her in 2013 at a New York City hotel. Weinstein has maintained his innocence, with his attorney saying that anything her client did was consensual.
Weinstein faces up to life in prison if convicted on all charges.
Photo: Getty Images