Weinstein violated bail conditions, bond increased to $2 million
Harvey Weinstein, who is awaiting trial on rape charges, will post a $2 million insurance bond, increased from $1 million, after prosecutors said he repeatedly violated the conditions of his release by disabling a device that tracks his whereabouts.
The 67-year-old movie producer violated the conditions of his release by leaving part of his electronic ankle monitor at home in Bedford, New York, rendering it inactive on at least 57 occasions in less than two months, prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said at Wednesday's hearing. The device has two parts, one Weinstein wears around his ankle and another that emits a signal, Illuzzi said at a Dec. 6 hearing, when she first asked for the bail increase.
Weinstein, who appeared in court in Manhattan shuffling slowly with a walker, is to undergo back surgery Thursday after an auto accident in August, his lawyer Arthur Aidala told New York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke. The surgery shouldn't affect Weinstein's readiness for trial in January, Aidala said.
Burke warned Weinstein not to make any excuses.
"If you have any further medical issues, the court will not be terribly understanding," the judge said. "The court will issue a warrant for your arrest."
"I'll be there before anybody," Weinstein replied.
Weinstein must continue to wear the ankle bracelet.
Illuzzi argued at the earlier hearing that Weinstein had "almost unlimited resources" after making tens of millions of dollars selling his New York properties. He frequently travels by private jet and could leave the country, she said.
Weinstein's lawyer Donna Rotunno said her client hadn't disabled the device and attributed the lapses to "technical glitches." She said reception in his Westchester neighborhood was spotty because of a scarcity of cellphone towers in the affluent area.
Rotunno said Weinstein couldn't be blamed for the glitches because he employed an assistant whose job it was to manage the device for him. Not only was the monitor painful to wear, she said, but Weinstein had to use private jets because it requires him to face additional security screenings when he flies commercially.
She also argued he couldn't afford an increase in bail because proceeds from the property sales "didn't go into his pocket" but were used to support his two ex-wives and his children.
Weinstein faces a Jan. 6 trial after pleading not guilty to a revised indictment filed in August.
Burke had asked for a hearing in light of New York state's new bail reform law, which goes into effect in January. The law includes a bar on requiring defendants to pay fees to maintain their electronic monitoring systems.
This article was written by Patricia Hurtado, a reporter for Bloomberg.