NEW YORK – Harvey Weinstein will have to put up a total of $5 million in bail, a considerable increase over the $1 million he has been required to put up so far, for having violated the terms of his bail, the judge overseeing the case – James Burke – ruled on Wednesday.
The decision comes after last Friday a Manhattan prosecutor accused the Hollywood producer – who is awaiting trial for sexual abuse – of not properly using the ankle monitoring bracelet he is obligated to wear so that law enforcement authorities can know his whereabouts.
The system consists of two parts: a bracelet that the accused must wear on his ankle at all times and a signaling device, which allegedly Weinstein has left repeatedly at his home.
According to prosecutors, Weinstein was not able to be located on at least 56 different occasions, a problem that his attorneys attributed to technical difficulties.
The District Attorney’s Office had warned that Weinstein could flee in a private jet to another country under these circumstances, and they asked for an increase in his bail as a result.
According to sources within the District Attorney’s Office, although he could simply put up the $5 million in cash to be allowed to remain on monitored release, Weinstein has the option of providing a $50 million bond insured at 10 percent or putting up $2 million through a bail bondsman.
In addition, Weinstein must turn in his passport and may not travel outside the United States, and he must report any travel outside the states of New York and Connecticut.
Weinstein, 67, came to a Manhattan court for the bail hearing dressed in a suit and using a walker.
According to his attorneys, the producer has back problems resulting from a traffic accident he was in last August that will require surgery this week.
Weinstein’s trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 6 and he is facing possible life in prison if convicted of up to five pending counts of sexual abuse, criminal sexual conduct and rape involving three women.
The film producer, whose alleged sexual abuse was at the center of the birth of the #MeToo movement, has proclaimed his innocence and has said that any sexual contact he had with his accusers was consensual.
Weinstein’s defense attorney Donna Rotunno said her client never intentionally violated the terms of his bail and blamed “technical glitches” like dead batteries and the lack of cell towers near his home in Bedford, New York, as the reasons why connections with his monitor were interrupted.
“It has nothing to do with any manipulation of the bracelet,” Rotunno told reporters later, although she did admit that Weinstein forgot to take the tracking device with him on a trip to Manhattan.