Harvey Weinstein: judge postpones sex crimes trial of disgraced movie mogul

Decision comes after judged barred the public and press from Weinstein’s Friday court appearance

A judge on Friday postponed the sex crimes trial of Harvey Weinstein until September.

The trial of the disgraced movie mogul had been due to begin in New York on 3 June.

Judge James Burke barred the public and the press from Weinstein’s court appearance on Friday morning, after both prosecutors and defense lawyers asked for the hearing to be held in secret.

Burke ejected reporters and spectators from the courtroom in Manhattan as prosecutors argued that more accusers should be allowed to testify in the trial – which later in the afternoon was postponed until 9 September.

The allegations against Weinstein to be discussed at the hearing are “highly inflammatory”, Burke said, and letting the public in would “result in a violation of both the defendant’s right to an impartial jury panel and his right to a fair trial”.

“The publication of this information at this time would serve no purpose other than to arouse negative public sentiment toward the defendant,” he said, adding it would have a “devastating effect” on Weinstein’s ability to get a fair trial.

The former movie mogul faces charges of rape and sexual assault in New York, where authorities say he raped one female acquaintance and forced oral sex on another woman.

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