Harvey Weinstein sent wide-ranging subpoenas to several of his Jane Doe accusers last month ordering them to either hand over documents ranging from personal emails with family members to financial statements or appear at a “secret” court hearing on July 21, prosecutors allege in a new filing obtained by Rolling Stone.
The subpoenas, sent to the women’s lawyers, did not specifically inform the accusers they had a right under California law to oppose the demand, and Weinstein’s lawyers did not inform prosecutors the subpoenas were pending, the filing from Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson says.
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Thompson now is asking the court to kill the subpoenas.
At an in-chambers conference with Judge Lisa Lench on June 30, Thompson argued, “The defense set a secret court date, has not consulted with the people about that court date, and has essentially required the Jane Does come to court on that court date to assert their rights. It is an absurd position to say that the people do not have a right to be involved in that process. It’s completely improper to subpoena our charged victims to come to court on a date that we have not been consulted about.”
Weinstein’s lawyer Alan Jackson attended the same June 30 meeting and defended the way the subpoenas went out. “We are not trying to hide the ball. We’re trying to build our defense without blueprinting our defense to the prosecution,” Jackson said, according to a transcript of the proceeding obtained by Rolling Stone.
Judge Lench told Jackson that she believed prosecutors were indeed entitled to notice because they have standing to make a motion to quash. She also said the Jane Does have specific rights under Marcy’s Law, also known as the California Victims’ Bill of Rights.
“They have a right to refuse, and the prosecution has a right to articulate that refusal, and they can’t possibly do that if they don’t know about it,” Judge Lench said.
The judge vacated the July 21 compliance date and ordered Jackson to notify the Jane Does. She set a follow-up hearing for Aug. 1, when Thompson is set to argue the motion to quash.
According to Thompson’s motion, a Marcy’s Law attorney representing Jane Doe 1 sent a July 6 email to Weinstein’s defense stating that Jane Doe 1 had invoked her right under California law to refuse to comply. On July 7, one of Weinstein’s lawyers allegedly responded that “we do not agree to withdraw the subpoena. We believe the documents and communications requested in the subpoena are relevant and discoverable.”
Mark Werksman, another defense lawyer representing Weinstein, tells Rolling Stone, “We are fighting for the right to a fair trial, and that requires that we be able to subpoena relevant and useful evidence that the prosecutors don’t want us to have. We will of course obey the law, but we will not stop our efforts.”
Werksman wrote in a Tuesday filing that it was “manifestly false” for Thompson to suggest Weinstein had attempted to circumvent court process by “directly contacting the alleged victims.”
“The prosecutor knew that all the potential subpoena recipients had counsel; that their counsel were aware of the proposed subpoenas; that their counsel had not accepted service; that no one had contacted the witnesses; and that no one was being ‘forced into court,'” Werksman wrote in the filing.
Weinstein, 70, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault involving five unidentified victims in the case. The DA’s office claims the disgraced movie producer raped three of the women — one of them on two separate occasions a year apart — and sexually assaulted two others during attacks at hotels in and around Beverly Hills between 2004 and 2013.
Now serving 23 years in prison after a New York jury convicted him in 2020 of felony sex crimes in Manhattan, Weinstein is set to begin his estimated eight-week trial in Los Angeles on Oct. 10.
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