AceShowbiz - Harvey Weinstein has lost an emergency appeal against a ruling which could lead to him facing sex trafficking charges.
The shamed movie mogul, 67, has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and assault, and faces five criminal charges in New York. Other alleged victims have sued Weinstein, including the actress Kadian Noble, who has accused him of molesting her and forcing her into a bathroom to watch him masturbate after meeting in a hotel room in Cannes, France in 2014.
In an August 2018 ruling in Noble's case, Judge Robert W. Sweet stated that the use of professional inducements to coerce people into sexual situations, commonly dubbed Hollywood's 'casting couch', could be considered a "commercial sex act" and trafficking charges could apply.
Weinstein's lawyers demanded an emergency appeal, claiming a 2015 anti-sex trafficking law was being misused against him.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, on Monday (August 05) U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rejected the request, saying the analysis by her fellow judge, who died earlier this year, was "careful and convincing" and the request for an emergency appeal was "insufficiently exceptional".
"The validity of Judge Sweet's conclusion that "commercial sex act" is broad enough to include intangible benefits is not subject to substantial doubt," Nathan wrote in her ruling, adding that it was reasonable to consider promises of career advancement a "thing of value".
Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. He is scheduled to face trial on charges relating to allegations made by two women, including an alleged rape, in September.